Palisades High School Water Polo Dominates League

PaliHi’s boys water team opened league play by swamping San Pedro, 18-1, on Sept. 26.

Alternating in goal, Brandon Epp had four saves and Michail Melnik had seven. Freshman Oliver Grant led the Dolphins’ offense with six goals, while senior Isai Elias had three and junior Max Speiser and sophomore Zeke Ramirez each added two. Gabriel Feizbakhsh, Lucas Silva, Zach Wunder, Orson Spence and Theo Trask each scored a goal. Watching his old team play was Zach Senator, now a freshman at Pomona College.

Orson Spence wins the opening sprint to take possession of the ball. Photo: Ben Trask

Orson Spence wins the opening sprint to take possession of the ball.
Photo: Ben Trask

He plays water polo there and had come back to visit with his Pali coach, Adam Blakis, and his former teammates. Asked about the difference between high school and college play, Senator said “The guys are a little bigger, a little stronger and a little faster.” In his first college tournament, Senator helped Pomona beat Irvine and the Air Force team. “It’s fun and a good time,” he said.

On Sept. 28, the Dolphins defeated Banning, 17-0, as goalies Epp and Melnik each had five saves. Feizbakhsh led the scoring with five goals, Silva and Ramirez each had two, and Grant, Wunder, Luis Urias, Elias, Speiser, Marc Pryor, Matt Garcia and Trask all had one.

League play continues Oct. 5 against LACES. The next home game is Venice on Oct. 10.

Coach Blakis sent his team to two tough tournaments early in the season to prepare for league play, and they will compete in the South Bay Tournament at Mira Costa on Oct. 14-15.

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