Varsity boys water polo team defeats Leigh 22-6


Olivia Xu

Rajas Apte (9) presses a Leigh player while on defense. The varsity boys water polo team participated in the Silicon Valley Invite Tournament this past weekend.

by Trisha Iyer and Olivia Xu

The varsity boys water polo team defeated Leigh High 22-6 in the first round of the Silicon Valley Invite Tournament, hosted at the upper school yesterday and Friday. 

A starting burst of energy gave Harker an early lead as the defense blocked all but two of Leigh’s shots. The Eagles offense dominated in their own right, scoring unrelentingly to put the Eagles up 8-1 by the end of the first quarter and 17-2 by the end of the first half.

“When we came out, we had a lot of momentum,” team member Elvis Han (12) said. “In general, when we’re against teams that might not be as fast as us, we try to counter-attack a lot to be able to really push the offensive and give a lot of goals really fast, so I think that’s what we did in the first half today. We played our hearts out.”

In the third quarter, the game’s pace lagged slightly: interceptions and blocked goals led to the ball being exchanged back and forth between the two teams. Each team scored twice to raise the score to 19-4. In the fourth quarter, Harker rallied, further extending their lead for the final score of 22-6. 

Because Harker asserted a large lead early on in the game, the Eagles were able to relax in the second half and swap in less experienced players like freshman Vyom Vidyarthi. 

“I’m glad that everyone got to play,” Vyom said. “It was not a very difficult game, and I’m glad that everyone could touch the ball and score. It was fun.”

Deeya Kumar (11), who watched the game, points out the varsity boys water polo team’s depth as one of their strengths.

“Our team is really good this year because we got some really good freshmen,” she said. 

This tournament marks some of the last games of this year’s water polo season. Head Coach Lee McBride expressed his appreciation for the team’s improvement over the course of the season.

“They’ve grown a whole bunch,” McBride said. “Their work ethic, their compassion throughout all these practices has really made a difference. We [made] big strides not only in terms of our X’s and O’s and tactics, per se, but our teamwork as a whole also really improved.” 

Harker next defeated Leland High School in the tournament on Saturday morning.

“I think this was my last ever water polo game so I’m glad that we ended up winning,” ” Elvis said. “Everyone is in a really good mood. I’m happy to end on this note.”