Boys Water Polo Qualifies for 2019 Playoffs

Isaac Ng, Staff writer

After a slow start, the Venice High School boys water polo team has found its groove. Led by Coach Sophie Sabbah, the team has a league record of 4-3 and an overall record of 4-7. The Gondoliers’ most recent game on Oct. 23 was a 9-8 win against LACES. The team was supposed to go up against University High School Charter on Oct. 28. However, Uni has been closed due to the bad air quality because of the fire, so the game was delayed. Instead, they will play their regular season finale against San Pedro High School on Oct. 30 before the playoffs. The team has officially made the playoffs, and the final game will determine their final seed. 

“We have strong boys,” said Ms. Sabbah. “And I want them to play as best as they can and get better than yesterday.” 

In the beginning of the season, Ms. Sabbah had chosen harder opponents to play against on purpose so that her team would learn how to get better. She also added that this is a rebuilding year for the team, as the entire varsity starting lineup graduated last year. 

Both captains, junior Gabe Purnell and senior Andres Ayuyao, are satisfied with their team’s performance, and despite a slow start to the season, the Gondoliers are confident they will make the finals and take home the championship. 

“I am satisfied with how we ended up after a rocky start,” said Ayuyao. “And I like how the team progressed up to this point.” 

Purnell agreed.

“In recent games, I am pretty satisfied with their overall teamwork and effort,” he said. “In the beginning, they weren’t very determined. But eventually, everyone was involved and wanted to win.”

Both captains agreed that the 9-8 win against LACES was the best. With 35 seconds left, the Gondoliers were up by one, but LACES had possession. A LACES player attempted a shot, but a Venice goalie blocked it. Then, LACES regained possession, but Ayuyao said he stole the ball and the game was over. 

Come to the game and support the Venice Gondoliers. Go Gondos!