Las Positas Men's Water Polo Preview

The Las Positas men’s water polo team, headed by coach Robby Arroyo, has a talented group of starters, experience, and a drive to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish in the Coast Conference.
 
“The attitude’s been great,” Arroyo said of the initial team practices. “We’re starting to get into some harder workouts, and a lot of the newer players are doing a fantastic job. The outlook looks really good for the season.”
 
Two returners who redshirted in 2016, utility players Andrew Kettenhofen and Sasha Mazeroski, will have a “big impact,” Arroyo said. Goalie Bryan Meyn and 2-meter defender Charles Lewanowski are also expected to play important roles.
 
While pleased with the turnout, Arroyo is still working on getting a few more returners or some swimmers to bolster the squad. It’s a bit too early for any bold predictions for the season outlook.
 
“It’s hard right now without seeing what some of other teams have, like to see exactly where we might place, but we have a lot of talent in our starting group,” Arroyo said.
 
Clearly, Arroyo has a positive vibe about his three-old water polo program, which appears headed in the right direction.
 
“We’re still a young program,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of the historical success, or the storied success, that some of the other programs may have, but we’ve been able to increase our fundraising efforts across the board. We’ve been able to get a lot more recognition to the sport locally, (which coaches believe) will naturally increase our numbers for the team and improve the performance as well. We’ve been extremely successful, but we’re still on the path to become a dominant force.”
 
The Hawks’ pristine facilities took center stage this past spring when the college hosted the Olympic Developmental Program championships, a major event that had a “huge economic impact” on the community and generated a lot of national and international attention, Arroyo said.
 
“It was something that enabled us to be able to give our athletes some more resources,” Arroyo said of the ODP event. “For example: We’ll be taking our first trip to Southern California this fall for a competition. It wasn’t possible on Day 1, but through the hard work of the athletes and volunteers and the coaching staff, we were able to help make that possible.”
 
The Hawks will open the season on Sept. 6 at Modesto Junior College. Then they will face Southern California teams Santa Monica, San Diego Miramar and El Camino in the Saddleback Tournament on Sept. 29-30, which should prepare them for their conference opener against De Anza on Oct. 4 at Las Positas.
 
• Matt Schwab