Stanford Under-17 team finishes in top 10 in 36-team Southern Cal tournament
The Stanford Under-17 boys' water polo team didn't lose a single match at the Villa Park Classic last weekend in Orange County. But coach Craig Ackley still wasn't completely satisfied with his squad's performance.
"We didn't do as well as I expected," he said. "We really didn't play well until the last game."
Stanford, which boasts some of the Peninsula's premier prep players, went 4-1-0 at the tournament. The tie came in the second round against Rolland, a team from Southern California. But Rolland wound up winning the tiebreaker (goal differential), knocking Stanford into the loser's bracket.
Ackley said this setback threw the team for a loop, as Stanford struggled to win its next two games. Stanford was able to redeem itself in the final match, though, clobbering Jurpa Valley of Southern California by a score of 11-4.
"We really came together in that final game," Ackley said. "It was good to see them turn things around."
The win guaranteed Stanford a top-10 finish in the 36-team competition. Ackley said Tim Kates (St. Francis High), John Samuels (Menlo School) and Eric Vlasic (Palo Alto High) were his most-consistent players over the weekend.
Stanford will play in two more tune-up tournaments before heading back to Orange County for the National Junior Olympics, which run Aug. 6-10.
On Saturday, the team plans to compete in an open tourney at Diablo Valley College in the East Bay. Several Bay Area colleges are also taking part in this event and Stanford's first-round opponent will be U.C. Berkeley's "C" team.
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