Boys Water Polo Fall Sports Sports

Andover Boys Water Polo Comes Back After First Quarter Deficit to Defeat Choate

Max Hunger ’20 joined Boys Varsity Water Polo as a new Upper last year.

Coming off of a week of endurance training, Andover Boys Water Polo was well prepared to play a physical Choate team, as evident by their dominant 20-10 win. The team’s record now stands at 7-3, with a win streak of six games.

Andover began the game with difficulty but worked to improve its play and maintain the same determination throughout the game, according to Max Hunger ’20.

“We’ve had a little bit of difficulty when it comes to starting, specifically when it comes to teams who we know we might have a little bit more of an ability compared to, in terms of swimming. Our starting line-up has a high concentration of varsity swimmers, so we know that we have a lot of speed. I think that we’re really underutilizing it at the beginning of the game and it takes maybe a good quarter for us to really get into gear,” said Hunger.

After receiving two ejections, Hunger was pulled out of the game and Andover adapted to losing one of its highest scoring players, according to Gregor Deveau ’21. Before being pulled, Hunger scored five of the team’s twenty goals.

“I think the team adapted well when Max was taken out of the game… everybody really stepped up, did their job, and it really showed that we are able to play as a team instead of individually,” said Deveau.

Andover was able to maintain its composure despite the physicality of the game, according to Zack Peng ’21 and Brandon Garcia PG’20.

“I think the main thing was that we kept our head in the game. It was kind of a rough game, I would say Choate was a pretty good team…There were a couple calls that were overlooked that could have helped us get a couple turnovers…They were a little handsy though, so there were a lot of fouls, but in general I think everybody, especially the field players, did a really good job of just keeping their heads cool and playing the game,” said Peng.

“The physicality [was difficult]. They played really tough, it hurt, and we had to overcome that in order to win. We had to stay level headed to make sure we always had the goal of winning, rather than fighting,” added Garcia.

Andover hopes to improve on its positioning and movement in the pool in order to play a more unified game when it faces Phillips Exeter Academy and Brunswick, two strong teams, again in the weeks to come, according to Peng.

“I’d say the main thing [we need to work on] would be mobility, because sometimes, when we set up our offense as well as our defense, we don’t move a lot and that’s when the other team gets us, so really just kinda swinging around and switching at the right time definitely will help our game,” said Peng.

Without a Saturday game his coming week, the team will work on conditioning in practice to build strength for the games to come.

“[Head] Coach [Dale] Hurley and Coach [Alicia] Finney are both going to put the hammer down when it comes to conditioning, making sure we’re fit, a little bit more focused on our back half of the game because coming up, we have some of our tougher teams,” said Hunger.

He continued, “Making sure we’re in shape for that is the main focus for this week, working the upper body, working the legs, making sure our core is stable, getting an all-body workout for two hours straight.”

Andover’s next games are home against Suffield on October 16 and St. John’s Prep on October 18.