The Alameda High Mens water polo team successfully defended their league water polo title Saturday, October 29th against longtime rival Berkeley at Contra Costa College. The Hornets played some stifling defense from the first whistle of the game defeating the Yellowjackets in a heartstopping double overtime 11-10 game.
The Hornets started the tournament beating the #8 seed St.Patrick High by a score of 17-4. They then had to face crosstown rivals Encinal High to get into the championship game. A nailbiter game itself, the Hornets pulled out a narrow 11-10 victory over the Jets in regulation. This victory gave the Hornets their shot at a 3rd title in as many years, a feat never accomplished in the history of Alameda water polo.
The Hornets went into Saturday having beat the Berkeley team earlier in the year 13-11 at Berkeley's home pool. The Hornets got off to a quick start leading 4-2 early in the 2nd quarter. The yellowjackets fought back and tied the game 9-9, sending the championship into overtime. The Hornets broke a 10-10 tie scoring with :51 seconds left in double overtime. The Hornets held on with some solid defense and secured their 3rd title in as many years and secured their place in history.
2011 was set to be a rebuilding year for these Hornets, having graduated players over the last two years that went on to play Div 1 college water polo at CAL. This year's team remained focused and determined to prove that regardless of size (Hornets' average height of starters is 5'7) they could win with teamwork, determination, and tenacity. The Hornets proved their critics wrong cruising through the regular league season at 6-1 and securing the #1 seed at this weekend's league championships. The heart and soul of this team is Junior Anthony Tran who leads the team in every defensive stat possible. This team took on his personality and together stopped a starting six from Berkeley that
Averaged 6'1 across the board.
The Hornets were led on offense by seniors Curtis Fong and Riccardo Longo scoring 5 goals between the two of them. The Hornets were led at the defensive end by Junior Anthony Tran with 6 steals and 2 goals.
The Alameda team goes into NCS qualified at #12, their highest seed in 12 years. This is also the 5th time in 7 years the Hornets had made it to the ACCAL championship game and 3rd time they won.
[thanks to Jackie Ingram for the photo]