Struggling to stay above water

By Andrea Camarena

It's been a tough season for Monarch boys water polo. As a small eight man squad with a lot of potential, Exeter finished the first round of league play with a 4-1 record and one postponed contest.

The Monarchs closed out the first round on Wednesday, Oct. 12 with a 9-16 loss to Dinuba.

Like many of the Monarchs matches this season, the game could have gone either way.

The Emperors took the win with a wealth of experience that the Monarchs lack. With a young squad, the Monarchs were unable to keep up to speed with the Emperors strategy throughout the game.

The Monarchs earned 14 total steals against Dinuba and goalie Brenden Watson had eight saves on 24 shots from the Emperors.

Exeter is looking for the turnaround as they head into the second half of league.

&#8220We had some disappointing games where the team aspect didn't work out,” Exeter head head coach Coult Dennis said. &#8220The current quality of the team is a lot better than the beginning of the year. The team chemistry is lacking right now though.”

Standouts continue to be utility player Daniel Munsch, goalkeeper Brenden Watson and two-meter offensive player Logan Henderson.

Against Dinuba, Munsch made four of the team's nine goals to lead the offense. He had two assists and seven steals.

Henderson earned one goal, one assist and one steal. Watson had eight saves and four steals.

Andrew Jones came through for one of his top offensive games as he earned three goals and made three steals against the Emperors.

&#8220Everyone in league is beatable. Our team has the capability of beating everyone.”

Granite Hills currently leads the league with a 7-0 record at the close of the first round. And that's who the Monarchs have set their eyes on defeating.

They face the Grizzlies at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 with the home pool advantage.

&#8220We have a really good man-down defense,” Dennis said. Although the Monarchs have not faced many ejections this season, Dennis sees this as a their best strength against the Grizzlies.

The team has suffered no injuries this season and remains an eight-player squad.

The Monarchs opened their second round of league with a tough 4-11 loss to Monache. Exeter started off strong and kept the score close at 1-2 Monache at the close of the first quarter. They gave up four more goals in the second to bring the game to 3-6. Each team only managed one goal in the third but Monache pulled away in the fourth quarter when they planted the ball in the net four more times in the fourth and held the Monarchs scoreless for the win.

Exeter's Blake Klienhans and Jones each had one goal in the contest.

Watson had one steal and an amazing 19 saves.

This week, the Monarchs will also face Porterville for the first time at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at home.

The Lady Monarchs will also host the Panthers at 6:30 p.m. on the same night.

The Exeter boys varsity team will travel to the Clovis West Invitational on Oct 21-22 before wrapping up league play at the end of the month.

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