The HRV girls and boys water polo teams launched their conference competitive season with an away game at David Douglas. The school has a 30-year history of a dominant swimming program which feeds its water polo teams with tough, fast swimmers. This year is no different and the adage “defense wins games” was the message being repeated to the teams by the HRV coaching of staff Dave Cameron, Kellie Dunn and Dave Robinson.
Counterattacking, like basketball’s fast break, is a constant threat against a fast opponent and requires anticipation and fast swimmers to defend. That strategy paid off for the girls and boys teams as the girls won their matchup 13-5 and the boys won 9-8.
For the girls, sophomore Lauren Orr and freshman Jamie Robinson had the assignment to keep a lid on two Junior Olympic caliber players from David Douglas and did a fantastic job, said boys and girls assistant coach Dave Robinson. This defensive combo, along with fast-swimming sophomore Ella Mudry, shut down numerous counterattack attempts. “It was an amazing show of shut-down defense against a very strong and fast David Douglas team,” said coach Dave Robinson. “Coach Kellie Dunn and I have been taking a defense-first approach since the summer with these girls and it is really paying off.”
The girls’ overall leaders were sophomore hole set Rose Finstad with five goals; frosh attacker/defender Jamie Robinson with one goal, six assists and six steals; sophomore hole defender Lauren Orr with three goals and two assists; and sophomore goalie Kat McElderry with 10 saves and two steals charging out of the cage.
The boys team waited until the last minute of the game to score the decisive goal to take home the win against an equally strong David Douglas boys team. It was an epic physical battle displaying great, pressure defense on both sides and gutsy offensive drives, Robinson said. Junior goalie Adam Cameron highlighted the scoring with a full pool length rocket that found the cage and surprising the opposing goalie with three seconds on the clock in the third quarter. “The boys’ tanks were running low as the tight game limited our ability to substitute from the bench, but the training we have been doing since summer allowed us to claim the victory,” Cameron said.
The boys’ leaders were senior attacker/defender Charlie Sutherland with one goal, three assists and four steals; senior attacker Myles Cameron with three goals; and Cameron with 12 saves, two assists and one goal.
After hosting Reynolds at the Hood River Aquatic Center for HRV’s home opener, the Eagles will hit the road Thursday for a game against Gresham.