Water polo blasts Spartans

Following a disappointing loss during the finals of the Newberg tournament in Oregon two weeks ago, the Mercer Island boys water polo team bounced back Oct. 9 with a 24-2 smashing of rival Bainbridge Island at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

“We learned a lot from that Newberg tournament,” said Mercer Island head coach Lauren Ayres. “It was huge to have such a young team play that kind of a tournament. It will only make them better.”

That improvement was evident even against a struggling Spartan team, as Mercer Island raced out to a 14-0 halftime lead.

Islander senior Ari Wes, who had to miss the Newberg tournament for the SATs, took his frustrations out on the Bainbridge defense by scoring six goals during the game.

“We need to be focused on the little things and have better anticipation,” said Ayers.

Anticipation was not a problem against the Spartans as goalkeeper Eric Benca continues to play strong in front of the net. The Islander defense allowed its first goal 2:06 into the second half. But the offense responded with a goal from senior Sam Sussman 16 seconds later. Sussman would finish the game with four goals. Overall, eight different Islanders would score during the game.

Mercer Island took on Newport Tuesday night at the KCAC (after Reporter deadline). The Islanders will now gear up for the San Diego Invitational, Oct. 25-27.

“We will see some fast teams in San Diego, so it was nice to get that tournament practice in Newberg,” said Ayers.

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