May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Northwood boys water polo team notches 6-5 road victory over Hoover and moves on to CIF quarterfinals

Northwood’s Max Abravanel takes a shot in Thursday’s match vs. Hoover. (Photos courtesy Michael An)

Traveling to Pasadena, Northwood’s boys water polo team faced a tough and physical Hoover team with 12 experienced seniors in the second round of the CIF Division 3 playoffs.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

The match proved to be a defensive battle and the score was tied for three consecutive quarters. It was 3-3 at halftime but No. 2 seeded Northwood won 6-5 to advance into Saturday’s quarterfinals against Segerstrom at 11 a.m. at Segerstrom.

Junior Max Abravanel led Northwood (23-7) with four goals. Senior Spencer Sellwood and freshman Leo Giessmann each added a goal, while sophomore Cameron An, junior Chris Pukszta and Sellwood led the team defensively with two steals each.

Senior goalkeeper Noah Pendleton had another big presence between the posts with 14 saves.

“We knew that Hoover was a much bigger team than us, so we expected a physical battle,” said Northwood Coach Kyle Kim-E.  “Also, whenever you have a team with 12 seniors, that means they’re going to have a lot of playoff experience and chemistry together. We knew that we had a hard second round game and had to make significant adjustments throughout the game. They played really well.”

“We’re excited to make the quarterfinals and know that we have our work cut out for us in yet another tough team in Segerstrom. We know that we have a good, natural offensive team so focusing on defense has been crucial for us in these close games.”