The Saddleback men's water polo team had a successful weekend by winning three-of-four games at the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational (at Citrus College). The Gauchos now stand at 5-2 on the season.
Saddleback has a freshman-dominated lineup and a new coaching staff so it was unclear of what to expect in the first big test of the season. The Gauchos passed with flying colors, splitting two games on Friday and winning twice on Saturday.
Saddleback opened the tournament with a convincing 15-5 win over Chaffey College on Friday. Sophomore Max Gonter led the team with six goals as the Gauchos had a 4-1 lead after one quarter and never looked back.
Game two was a tough matchup with host Citrus, who came in with a 5-1 record and ended up getting the best of the Gauchos, 20-13. After a quick start by the Owls, Saddleback cut the lead to 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter but ran out of gas. Keeon Jabbour led the Gauchos with five goals in the loss.
Day two of the tournament was sensational for Saddleback as the Gauchos raced past Southwestern (27-8) and Rio Hondo (23-5). The Gauchos led 12-3 after the opening quarter against Southwestern, with Nathan Benge scoring five times in the opening quarter. Oscar Lopez would end up leading the team with six goals in the game. Saddleback then blasted Rio Hondo in the final game behind Gonter, who netted nine goals in the match.
Saddleback will be back into conference play on Wednesday when they host Santa Ana College. The Gauchos and Dons are scheduled to start at 3:00 PM.