By Max Ward / Co-Sports Editor
With only three players returning to this year’s roster, the LBCC men’s water polo team plans to use its new found depth and refined fundamentals to have another successful year. The Vikings finished their last season with an overall record of 14-5, giving them the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs. The Vikings fell short to Golden West in the hunt for a state championship. Golden West went on to win the state tournament.
Giving the Vikings their first absence from the tournament in the last 4 years. The Vikings have had 8 state championships, the last coming in 2006. Coach Chris Oeding said in an interview Wednesday, Sept. 4, “The team has many strengths including their depth, fundamental defense and strong attacking offense.”
Oeding said some standout players to follow this year are freshman left-handed attacker Ikko Saito, Croatian right-handed freshman attacker Marino Fatovic and left-handed sophomore attacker Jason Lee. Having one of the largest rosters in school history brings with it a lot of depth to the team, but also some chemistry issues. Utility player Jack Ellinthorpe explained the chemistry issue by saying, “We all played on different teams so we are still getting to know each other.” Oeding said with the team’s depth and strong offense, the team will overpower the issue.