Water polo finds solid foundation after long hiatus

By Tadzio Garcia

The water polo team brought back the sport to East Los Angeles College, endured a season with only one home match out of 30, and ended the year with awards.

Christina Burrola was named to the All-South Coast Conference First Team last week. Irene Young and Veronica Orantes won All-SCC Second Teams nods.

“I am proud of the team. They built a foundation for ELAC water polo in the 21st century,” Head Coach Erik Matheson said.

The freshman-laden team lost two of their top players in Denise Burrola, who moved when the season began and Orantes who was injured in the latter part of the season.

The Huskies were 3-1 in close games.

They beat SCC rival Pasadena City College, 12-10 in overtime, on Nov. 7 to qualify for the SCC finals tournament. ELAC also beat Pasadena 12-9 for their first win in over 10 years on Sept. 7.

They lost to Rio Hondo College in the fifth place semifinals in the SCC finals tournament on Nov. 9 at Pasadena.

ELAC avenged a season-opening loss to LA Trade Tech College with an 18-15-overtime win in the Chaffey College Tournament on Oct. 19.

ELAC adjusted their game plan to take the second meeting against Trade Tech.

Trade Tech returned the favor and double and triple teamed Burrola and Young in a 17-6 win over ELAC in the seventh place match of the SCC tournament.

“They knew I was an outside hitter and (they) were all over me,” Young said.

The entire team is eligible to return, although some could transfer to four-year universities before next season.

“We worked as a team. We will bring this advantage into the swim season,” Husky Alice Zheng said.

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