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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Boys’ Water Polo Dominates Their Game Against Long Beach Poly High

Attacker+and+junior+Ryder+Tonkovich+cocks+his+arm+to+score+a+point+against+Long+Beach+Poly+High+in+the+second+quarter.+The+Bulldogs%E2%80%99+win+against+the+Jackrabbits+added+to+their+long+list+of+victories+this+season%2C+allowing+them+to+build+their+momentum+and+confidence%2C+according+to+head+boys%E2%80%99+water+polo+coach+Kate+Avery.+%E2%80%9CWe+have+been+playing+some+good+teams+and+weve+come+out+on+top%2C+which+is+great%2C%E2%80%9D+Avery+said.+%E2%80%9COur+offense+is+looking+really+good.+Our+defense+has+been+looking+fine.+We+can+always+improve+there.+We+are+a+defensive-minded+team+anyways.%E2%80%9D
Mia Jong
Attacker and junior Ryder Tonkovich cocks his arm to score a point against Long Beach Poly High in the second quarter. The Bulldogs’ win against the Jackrabbits added to their long list of victories this season, allowing them to build their momentum and confidence, according to head boys’ water polo coach Kate Avery. “We have been playing some good teams and we’ve come out on top, which is great,” Avery said. “Our offense is looking really good. Our defense has been looking fine. We can always improve there. We are a defensive-minded team anyways.”

Boys’ water polo (9-1) won 12-4 at its recent match against Long Beach Polytechnic High on Sept. 19. The Bulldogs’ next game will be a league match against University High on Oct. 3.

The Bulldogs led with an aggressive push into the first quarter, opening with a score of 2-0. Both teams had an explosive offense, but the Bulldogs sailed to a win, floating to a comfortable seven-point lead after the first quarter.

Utility player and sophomore August Tonkovich notes the players’ teamwork, with the Bulldogs scoring multiple goals using fake out steals and assists, something only possible after becoming comfortable with each other’s play styles.

The Bulldogs want to keep the game simple and focus on remaining engaged during physically and emotionally demanding stretches of the match, according to Tonkovich.

“Just play good, not be disrupted and have a good mindset,” Tonkovich said. “My captains really help motivate us and get us through.”

The Bulldogs came into the match with improved defense, wanting to secure a victory against the Jackrabbits after they were defeated by them for the past two years, according to utility player and junior Max Minasyan. Maintaining constant communication throughout the game helped the Bulldogs hold the Jackrabbits scoreless in the first two quarters, which was especially gratifying after previous losses, according to Minasyan.

“I love our open communication, starting from our goalie to our entire defensive line, which is really good,” Minasyan said. “Considering that they were rivals, as they beat us in CIF a couple years ago, getting up to an 8-0 lead in the first half was pretty good for us.”

For head boys’ water polo coach Kate Avery, keeping an open mind for every team they face and trying to adapt to opposing play styles helps bring the team success, according to Avery.

“We have a new mindset of how we approach every team,” Avery said. “We don’t take it for granted that we don’t underestimate anyone. We’re in Division 2 this year and it’s anybody’s game. It’s a competitive division.”

As the Bulldogs begin to settle back into the game, Avery is setting her sights on future successes and is optimistic for the remainder of the season.

“We want to go back to CIF for Division 2,” Avery said. “We would love to win Division 2. I think we have one of the most talented teams that we’ve had all the years we’ve been here.”

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About the Contributors
Sonia Wang, Assistant Features Editor
Sonia Wang is the Assistant Features Editor and also a Business Team member returning for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to edit articles and work with new members of the Pilot. Outside of writing, you can find her reading a fantasy or sci-fi book, listening to music, or desperately trying to finish her homework.
Mia Jong, Centerspread Editor
Mia Jong is the Centerspread Editor and Features Photo Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She loves to create, whether it be with a paintbrush and canvas or a pen and paper, and she can’t wait to write more stories with her fellow Pilot members. In her free time, you can find her chucking onions in the game Overcooked, scrolling through StackOverflow forums to fix her code, creating sticker designs, and watching Pixar movies. She believes everyone has a unique story to tell and hopes to give a voice to the Portola community through her writing.
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