Titans Win Silver Division of Ayala Tournament

an Marino High School varsity boys’ water polo team won the Silver Division title of the Chino Hills Ayala Tournament
Photo courtesy Hal Suetsugu
The San Marino High School varsity boys’ water polo team won the Silver Division title of the Chino Hills Ayala Tournament last weekend. The winning squad includes (from left) Katelyn Salim, Jazz dePiero, Jeff Wang, Gerard Ketelaar, Elijah Carlton, Taylor Shen, Idris Elgabalawy, Matthew An, Taylor Suetsugu, Sebastian Moggio, Haroon Elgabalawy, Andrew Cronk, Cole Campagnolo, Jonathan Hernandez, Madison Hansa and head coach Robert Zirovich.

For head coach Robert Zirovich, it was difficult to gauge the potential of this year’s varsity boys’ water polo team with a young roster and two losses to open the regular season.
The Titans fell to Alta Loma High School of Rancho Cucamonga, 13-11, and followed that with a 10-8 defeat against Glendale Hoover, which is ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division 5.
“We lost our first two matches by two goals against two strong teams,” Zirovich said. “We just could not get over that hill.”
A young San Marino roster, which includes three sophomores and three juniors, showed what it is capable of last weekend by winning five consecutive matches in the Chino Hills Ayala Tournament and claiming the Silver Division championship.
The Titans defeated Rowland High, Claremont, La Quinta, Ayala and Brea Olinda. Sophomore Sebastian Moggio led the squad with 22 goals in the tournament. Elijah Carlton and Taylor Suetsugu added 10 and nine goals, respectively.
“It’s very exciting,” Zirovich said. “We’re still very young, but I hope and expect the boys to come out with extra confidence. We really need that because we’re in an awfully tough league. Temple City brings back everybody, and South Pasadena is also bringing back a championship squad. And never count out La Cañada. They always have a strong program.”
The squad’s balanced play is what helped it conquer the Ayala tourney, and its explosive offense allowed San Marino to pull away from opponents. The Titans’ average margin of victory was 10 goals.
“We just have to keep our focus on what’s next, on the next three seconds,” Zirovich said. “We also need our senior leaders to set the tone of each practice and match. We’re going to need our juniors and sophomores to remain motivated, and we also need to stay healthy. I only have 11 guys on the roster. Everyone matters and contributes.”
The Titans (5-2 overall record) took on Baldwin Park in a nonleague match on Wednesday and will host Flintridge Prep on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 3:15 p.m.

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