SD Prep Sports: Water Polo

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Hilltop High Lancers Report

Hilltop High/Poway Invitational Scoreboard

Game 1: Carlsbad 22, Hilltop 0

Game 2: Granite Hills 16, Hilltop 1

Game 3: University San Diego High (USDHS) 11, Hilltop 7

Game 4: San Pasqual 9, Hilltop 8

Game 5: Oceanside 9, Hilltop 8

Top scorers: Nick Kolata and Nick Davidson

"Richard Davidson really came into his own in this tournament and stood out as a definite team leader with great leadership in and out of the water," Hilltop co-coach John Salts explained. "Pedro Martinez had multiple games with multiple one-on-one/two-on-one saves; he caught the eye of a lot of coaches who came by to congratulate him on his efforts."

Metro Conference scoreboard

Nick Kolata scored off his own steal to give Hilltop a 5-4 overtime victory against Chula Vista in a game played Sept. 20. "We were down 4-1 with three minutes to go in the match and came back to tie it and take the lead in the overtime period," co-coach John Salts said.


Other Hilltop goals in the game were scored by Richard Davidson, Nick Davidson and David Watkins while goalie Pedro Martinez had 12 saves. The Lancers followed the OT win  with a 7-4 loss to Mission Bay the next day and dropped an 11-4 decision to Clairemont on Sept. 25.


Robbie Davidson, Richard Davidson and Kyle Kovar scored in a 22-3 loss to Bonita Vista on Sept. 28.


Hilltop Season Preview

Starters include Pedro Martinez (goalie), Nick Davidson, David Watkins, Kyle Kovar, Richard Davidson, Nick Kolata and Jeff Schroeder, with Kolata and Richard Davidson being the team leaders in and out of the water.

Expectations for this years team are to pool individual talent into one cohesive team, with players working together for a common goal. It's a step -- or rather, as one player put it, "a new revolution for Hilltop" in the quest to regain the glory days of Lancer polo. John Salts, a former standout player at Chula Vista High, serves as co-coach with  Linda McCoy. Under their combined direction, they have built a strong foundation in work ethic, commitment and desire. Those qualities are borne out by the large turnout for this year's team. A back to basics approach in coaching
water polo has started to pay dividends in the early going.

"The team has really come together as a solid unit following the Poway tournament. This was the turning point in our season," Salts explained." The players found out what they were really made of and more importantly what they can achieve when they play together as one unit. We came out of this tournament with a strong confidence in our team's ability to show well in league this year.

The team's strength remains its be the ability to play as a team through adversity. As for individual strengths, Kolata is back showing all the skills with some great new moves in the 2-meter position while Richard Davidson has stepped into the role of senior leader on the team and has become an excellent defensive two-meter  position player. Goalie Pedro Martinez should contend for the league's top award. The speed of Nick Davidson allows the team to counterattack while Watkins is always a threat from anywhere in the pool with his dominant arm. Both Schroeder and Kovar -- the Metro Conference's reigning Diver of the Year --  can also spring surprise attacks of their own making. Areas to work on still focus on swimming. Though the Lancers have a lot of talent, they still may lack the condition it takes to make it to the elite levels of the game. "Once the team realizes what it takes to make it to the next
level, this team will surprise a lot of people," Salts explained.

Last year's Hilltop squad won just two games despite pulling off an upset to place fourth at last year's league tournament. The biggest difference between that team and this one is apparent in the degree of  commitment. "This year's team has already  shown it in making itself a better team. Everyone shows up ready to give all they have to the team. To me, that is what it takes to be a winner!" Salts summed up.

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