The Mercer Island boys water polo team placed sixth at the state tournament on Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of Chris Vacca

The Mercer Island boys water polo team placed sixth at the state tournament on Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of Chris Vacca

Mercer Island boys water polo finishes sixth at state tournament

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:18pm
  • Sports

By CHRIS VACCA

Special to the Reporter

The Mercer Island boys water polo team entered as the No. 5 seed in the Washington state water polo tournament.

The first game on Thursday was against Newport, who they had previously played four times during the season, with a 2-2 record. The Islanders came out a little lethargic and Newport capitalized, getting out to a 5-2 lead. Newport never looked back and continued to roll against Mercer Island, beating them 17-8.

On Friday, the Islanders faced a less-experienced Puyallup team. The Islanders were ready for this game as senior Jack Shoop scored five goals and Max Vacca and Torger Peterson added three each. Goalie Finn Freidland was a brick wall, notching 20 saves.

With the win, the Islanders were now going to start their Saturday morning against Bainbridge Island. At stake was the opportunity to play for third place. Bainbridge came away with the win, dropping the Islanders down to the fifth/sixth-place game against the Ingraham Rams.

The Islanders’ final game of the year against the Rams went back and forth all game and went down to the wire. The Islanders found themselves down by one goal with 1:30 left in the game. On their last offensive possession, multiple shots were taken and missed by Mercer Island. However, the last one was batted away by the Rams goalie, and Shoop battled among other defenders for the ball right in front of the goal and with determination, he muscled the ball from the goalie to tie it up. Unfortunately for the Islanders, Ingraham was able to overpower the Mercer Island defense in the last seconds to seal the win 14-13. Mercer Island finished sixth place this year.

Head Coach Calvin White had this to say about this year’s state tournament, “We were led during the state tournament by our standout junior, Max Vacca. Followed up by our seniors Oliver Schaaf and Jack Shoop. Those three carried us throughout the tournament and strong goalie play from sophomore Finn Friedland. We didn’t start out state on a strong note, but we were happy with the way this team battled in every game and never gave up. Even when they were down multiple goals, they battled back to never give the opposing team an easy out.”

For the future of Mercer Island boys water polo, White added, “The team will look to rebound next year and improve on their sixth-place finish.” Mercer Island will be led by seniors Vacca, Lucas Peng, Aaron Kann and Quinn Staples, junior Friedland, sophomore Peterson and standout freshman Jackson Barker.

For those boys and girls that are not in high school and would like to get their kids involved in water polo, there is Midlakes, a recreational water polo league in the summer. In addition, there are also two local clubs that play year round, Rain City Water Polo Club and Northwest Water Polo Club, for the competitive athlete as well as the recreational athlete.

For more information:

Rain City Water Polo Club – www.raincitypolo.com

North West Water Polo Club – www.northwestwaterpoloclub.com

[flipp]

More in Sports

Islanders take on rivals on the hardwood

The Mercer Island basketball teams split their games against the Bellevue Wolverines… Continue reading

Mercer Island boys swim and dive takes first place at Kentridge Invitational

The Islanders finished first as a team and had 14 state-qualifying times at the meet on Jan. 11.

Leading the charge

Luke Wenzel tied the Mercer Island boys basketball record for charges drawn in his career.

Ressmeyer and Motroni shine for Mercer Island gymnastics team

The Mercer Island gymnastics team took second in a meet with Lake… Continue reading

2019: The year in sports for Mercer Island

Athletic success is a staple of the local community.

Mercer Island gymnastics have solid showing at dual-meet

Islanders earn a team score of 160.4, sophomore Rachel Ressmeyer finishes third in all-around.

Boys swim and dive team makes a splash in victory over Bellevue

The Mercer Island boys swim and dive team opened its new season… Continue reading

Mercer Island basketball teams hit the hardwood

The Islanders boys and girls basketball season began on the road against Issaquah on Dec. 3.

Mercer Island wrestlers ready to tilt

The Islanders have a mixture of fresh faces and experienced veterans as they embark on new season.

Mercer Island football players snag all-league honors

Several Mercer Island football players received 2A/3A KingCo all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Mercer Island boys water polo finishes sixth at state tournament

By CHRIS VACCA Special to the Reporter The Mercer Island boys water… Continue reading