"Full Steam Ahead!" for Hotchkiss Water Polo
Posted November 6, 2007
With respective win-loss records of 9-3 and 7-2, the varsity and junior varsity water polo teams have both had terrific fall seasons to date. Fans of the water-loving Bearcats are looking forward to November 10, when Hotchkiss hosts (and hopes to play in) the Liquid Four in the Hixon Pool.
Varsity Water Polo
The 2007 varsity squad has been pared down from last year’s 16-man roster to a lean, mean 14-person machine. Led by senior tri-captains Miles Radcliffe-Trenner, Nick Tropin, and Nate Willard, the team has six additional returning players in Tristan Berne ’08, Tim Bulakul ’08, John Kim ’08, Brad Lightcap ’08, Christian Sherrill ’09, and Tom Youngblood ’09, as well as four-year veteran manager Caroline Chen ’08. Bringing fresh blood to the team from last year’s JV ranks are Tom Allen ’09, Tyler Bulakul ’10, Kurt Hinck ’08, Charlotte Leib ’09, and Adam Rashkoff ’09, along with new manager Emmy Fisher ’09. The truly hoary veteran, though, has to be Andrew Dranginis ’03, who has returned to the Hixon Pool as head coach, with assistant Dawn Gaynor lending stability in her fourth year with the program.
With all of this firepower, the varsity team began their season with two decisive wins at home against Loomis and Choate. The next few matches proved to be harder, with two single-digit losses against Deerfield and Exeter in the big green’s pool, followed by the team’s toughest loss, to national powerhouse Greenwich High School. But the waterlogged Bearcats surfaced quickly the following weekend, winning a tight match against Andover (5-4) and handily beating Williston. Since then, the team has racked up five wins in six contests, with their one defeat going to Choate in overtime. The last match of the regular season took place against Williston in home waters this past Saturday, November 3.
Coach Dranginis sums up the team's regular season performance as follows: "In our best games, the team has worked like a well-oiled machine. Rather than having one or two heavy hitters, we can count on goals from multiple players. In our tough games, though, Nick Tropin has been our insurance policy. Several coaches have told me that he is the best goalie they have seen this season. I would have to agree -- he's kept us out of the fire many times this year."
JV Water Polo
The 2007 junior varsity team is evenly balanced between returning and new players. Captains Jack Pretto ’10, Harrison Price ’10 are joined by veterans Ofori Amponsah ’09, Ben Dye ’08, Maggie Rodney ’10, and Anna Saltzman ’10, along with manager Frances Salamalay ’10. Newcomers to the tropical waters of Hixon are Noah Callaghan ’11, Will Green ’10, Abby Hoskins ’11, George Malkin ’09, Brian Sayler ’09, Spencer Sherrill ’11, Angie Tang ’11, and Tristan White ’08, and new manager Victoria Diaz ’11. The coaching team was similarly split, with Head Coach Keith Moon welcoming Julia Smith as assistant coach.
This mix proved effective, as the JV Bearcats outswam and outshot their first three opponents: 10-2, 9-3, and 8-7. With Williston, Eaglebrook, and Deerfield thus dispatched, the team traveled down to Greenwich for their only decisive loss of the season, 4-9. But there’s no dishonor in a well-fought match, and the Bearcats turned right around to deliver a stinging 14-6 game to an unsuspecting Canterbury at home, followed by a 7-4 win against Choate in Wild Boar territory. The team stumbled a bit with a tough overtime loss to Suffield on the road, but once again bounced back with wins over Loomis Chaffee and Eaglebrook. We wish them the best in their final match at Williston this Wednesday!