A week off did nothing to halt the Spartan scoring machine, as the Bainbridge High School boys varsity water polo team handily cruised to a 17-8 win against the visitors from Ingraham Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center.
It was the squad’s first time back in the pool since a Sept. 20
non-league match against Auburn-Riverside, and upped their overall season record to 4-2.
“We were confident but you never want to be too confident — confident, not cocky,” said BHS Head Coach Kristin Gellert.
The Rams were something of a wild card going into the match, as the Spartans had little advance info regarding their style and strengths, having not played them since earlier last year.
“I only knew some scores of teams, how they played against Curtis and I got scouting reports from different coaches,” Gellert said.
Eagle-eyed Spartan sports fans may have noticed some slight variations in the island squad’s offensive maneuvers Tuesday, a totally deliberate shakeup, according to the coach.
“We’re working on some different things right now,” she explained. “We have so many threats in the pool offensively, what’s the best play? We’re playing with it to see what is.
“It’s really, really cool because it’s kind of a unique sport where lefties are like gold,” she added. “If you have a lefty on your varsity team, that’s incredible. If that can be a good lefty, that’s incredible. I have three starting lefties and my first guy off the bench is a lefty, so it’s like, it’s insane.”
Utilizing the natural advantage a left-handed player can sometimes have against predominantly right-handed goalies is an ace the Spartans intend to play.
“The angle to the goal, if you’re on the right side and a righty, you have a really poor angle, so it’s awesome to be able to have super big threats on all sides,” Gellert said. “And every guy can put it in the goal.”
Certainly, many of them did on Tuesday.
Sophomore Harrison Villella led the charge, netting four goals.
Nate Lapin and Oskar Bannister each put in three for the Spartans.
David Burton and Thomas Defawe both chipped in two apiece, and Gabe Nathan, Marshall Whittlesey and Jacques Defawe each contributed one goal to the win.
Only two of the remaining eight matches on the Spartans’ regular season schedule will be played at home. They hosted Bellevue Thursday, and will celebrate Senior Night at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 before facing off against longtime rivals Mercer Island.
Tuesday night proved equally victorious for the BHS JV squad as well, who likewise bested the Rams 9-6.
The island varsity squad will have one more lapse in gameplay, about a week before the championship tournament (which begins Nov. 14), which Gellert said they intend to use, as usual, fine-tuning and getting in the right head space for the big show.
For now, however, things are looking good.
“They look strong, they look fast,” the coach said. “They are great ball handlers. They move the ball really well [and] they’re looking for each other a lot more. Still working on our communication, but that looked better this game than last game, so that’s good.”