The Saddleback men's water polo team made a big statement this past weekend by winning four straight games in the Saddleback Invitational at the Saddleback Aquatics Center. The Gauchos are now 20-7 overall with the Orange Empire Conference Championships approaching.
Saddleback hasn't qualified for the Southern California playoffs since 2008 and needed to make a big splash by beating some squads that could be in the mix for playoff seeds. The Gauchos did just that, racing past Santa Monica, Grossmont, El Camino and Palomar by an aggregate count of 64-21.
Saddleback opened the tournament by beating Santa Monica 20-6 at noon on Friday. Although the Corsairs are currently in last place in the Western State Conference, they were 14-9 entering the contest and ended up winning their next three games in the tournament.
Saddleback then had a big win when they raced past Grossmont College in the afternoon game, 22-6. The Griffins are currently leading the Pacific Coast Conference (4-0) despite a 10-16 overall record.
Saddleback opened Saturday with a 16-6 win over El Camino College. The Warriors are currently 12-8 overall after going 2-2 in the tournament, and sit in fourth place in the South Coast Conference.
The biggest win may have come in the final game of the tournament when the Gauchos outlasted Palomar College, 6-3. The Comets (8-14) are in second place in the Pacific Coast Conference, which likely means only one of the teams from the PCC will make the Southern California Regional Tournament.
A total of 10 programs will make the field for the CCCAA Southern California Regional Tournament, which starts on November 9.
Saddleback plays next in the Orange Empire Conference Tournament at Cypress College on Thursday.