M. Water Polo: Cerritos seeded #5 for SoCal Playoffs

Cerritos seeded #5 for SoCal Regional Playoffs
Cerritos seeded #5 for SoCal Regional Playoffs


With the end of the regular season behind them, the Cerritos College men's water polo team has been seeded #5 for the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The Falcons (19-8) will be taking on #4-seeded Orange Coast College on Friday at 3:15 p.m., with the winner advancing to take on #1-seeded Golden West College on Saturday. Cerritos and the Pirates (17-6) finished in second place in the South Coast Conference and Orange Empire Conference, respectively.

This will be the second meeting between these two teams, with Orange Coast posting a 15-5 win in the first game of the Riverside Tournament a month ago. In that match, the Falcons fell behind 6-1 after the first period and trailed, 11-2 at halftime in a match they would like to forget. Cerritos has recorded a 4-6 record against Southern California teams that have advanced to the post-season, while the Pirates are 7-5 against playoff teams from SoCal.

Cerritos is led this season by sophomore Raul Muniz (Colbach, Mexico), who had 68 goals, along with 27 assists and 32 steals, with freshman Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) posting 58 goals and is third on the team with 56 steals. The Falcons have always been a balanced team, with five players recording at least 20 goals, as sophomore Arturo Ortuno (Universidad la Salle, Mexico) enters the post-season with 49 goals, along with a team-leading 67 steals and 39 assists. Sophomore Dylan Sun (Cerritos HS) has 66 steals, with sophomore goalkeeper Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) accounting for 40 steals along with making 199 saves on the year.

As for the Pirates, Nicholas Fichman, who had five goals in the match against Cerritos, leads them with 71 goals on the year. Eduardo Wainberg has been their most versatile player and ranks near the top on the team in goals (43), assists (40) and steals (43), while Luke Rhone (35 goals) and Gabriele Simonti (34 goals) also scoring threats. Orange Coast splits their goalie duties between Steven Magdaleno (92 saves in 16 games) and Conor Halloran (90 saves in 16 games).