Men’s water polo knocked out of playoffs

After securing a berth in the first-ever four-team conference playoffs, the men’s water polo season came to an end Nov. 17. Chapman, which finished third in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, lost 14-9 at Whittier College.

Chapman stayed neck and neck with Whittier to open the game, finishing the quarter tied 4-4.

“We came out pretty strong, we were right with them,” said junior two-meter defender Brady Hoskins. “I thought our team put together a really complete game.”

Hoskins led the team out with the opening goal in the first 30 seconds of the game, which was followed by goals from sophomore driver Cameron Genetti, freshman driver Hayden Reider and Hoskins again to close the quarter.

By the end of the second quarter, Whittier took off – going into the half with a 9-6 lead.

After Chapman’s 12-9 loss to Whittier Nov. 4., senior center Jeff O’Brien said that Whittier was a physically aggressive team.

Junior goalkeeper Wesley Hertel said Chapman was aware of Whittier’s style of play heading into the game, but hoped Chapman would be able to bring more intensity next season when it plays Whittier.

“We knew they were a very aggressive team,” Hertel said. “They’re not going to let any team just play the game, they’re going to play them physically. I thought we didn’t get the calls we deserved because of how physical they were being, but we can’t blame the referees.”

Head coach Eric Ploessel said he was impressed by his team’s bench performance.

“They started really well and it was a great game,” Ploessel said. “There were a couple of guys off the bench that made goals. Five out of nine goals were made off the bench, so they played really well.”

Hertel said he was impressed by how Chapman overcame a 2-8 start to finish third in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, after finishing seventh last season.

“Coming in, we were pre-ranked to be sixth place and not even make the playoffs,” Hertel said. “At first, we were struggling. But we came together and found what worked and what didn’t work and then went on from there. We had a lot of young guys step up today.”

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