By Aaron Valdez
It’s certainly been a long time coming but the Monrovia boys’ water polo team ended a severe 14-year playoff drought, as it took down The Webb Schools 11-9 in the first round of CIF on Tuesday.
“It feels great, but I’m always looking for the next game,” said Monrovia Head Coach Kris Williams of his team’s marquee victory. “The win today was phenomenal and I’m proud of my guys, but now we’re starting fresh the next game. I need them to focus and I need myself to focus so we don’t go into the next game overly confident.”
The path to get to this point was a bumpy one as the Wildcats put together a decent 13-12 overall record but only went 1-7 in the highly competitive Rio Hondo League. Fortunately for the Wildcats, their efforts were enough to earn them a berth in the CIF Division V playoffs with a match-up against The Webb Schools from the Hacienda League.
In the early goings, Monrovia dictated the tempo very well by moving the ball to open up a commanding lead in the first half. However, the Wildcats began to let up in the third quarter, which allowed the Gauls to claw their way back into the game and take the lead.
Both sides wound up going back and forth the majority of the fourth quarter until Monrovia managed to seize control for good. In the final two minutes, the Wildcats opened up an 11-9 lead, which was all it needed to stave off Webb’s furious rally and advance to the next round.
Monrovia will hit the road to play Beaumont in the second round of CIF playoffs on Thursday at 5 p.m.