Youth Water Polo Teams Bring Home Gold and Bronze Championship

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(Courtesy of AJ Mast/USA Water Polo)
Diablo Alliance Water Polo boys and girls teams both took home national championship awards, with the boys winning bronze of the prestigious Kap 7 Champions Cup tournament at Indiana University. (L-R back row) Coach Robert Arroyo, Dillon Bouch, Cristian Sanchez, Sloan Brown, Peter Kroger, William Corr, Evan Liberatore, Jackson Frediani, Jack Elder, Coach George Driscoll (Front Row) Nyle Nuckols, Tanner Lustig, Ben Livesay, Kyle Stilinovich, and Reid McCall.

    Local 14-and under water polo club Diablo Alliance won a National Championship on the girls’ side and brought home the bronze on the boys’ side of the prestigious Kap 7 Champions Cup tournament at Indiana University in November.
    Athletes from Hawaii, Texas, California, Connecticut, Illinois and Michigan traveled to Indiana to compete against the best eighth grade and under teams in our nation.
    Diablo Alliance Water Polo Club previously won this tournament in 2014 on the girls’ side, but this year marked the first time it qualified both a boys’ and girls’ squad. Catharine Arroyo (COO and coach) directs the club with husband Robert (“Robby”) Arroyo (CEO and coach).
    “Recently, the boys’ program has made huge leaps and bounds, primarily due to this phenomenal group of eighth grade and under young men,” said Catharine. “The girls’ squad is a tight group of young women as well. They have played together for several years, some since they were eight and nine-years-old. They have always been a highly competitive group of athletes, but this fall they really came into their own.”
    After a challenging weekend of high-level play, the girls’ squad found themselves going into the semi-finals. Having suffered only one loss to SoCal (9-6), they matched up with SET in the semis, a team hailing from El Toro, California. The game was a battle, but Diablo secured its spot in the championship game with a 17-11 win.
    “A couple of hours later,” Catharine said, “they hopped back in the tank for a redemptive battle with the team that had handed them their only loss of the tournament, a SoCal team from Tustin, California. After an amazing four quarters of team play, they came out victorious 11-7.”
    The boys’ squad had a similar path to the medal stand, but after a tough loss to Greenwich, Connecticut, 18-12 in the semi-finals, the team found itself matched up with a SoCal team in the third-place match. Like the girls’ team, they too had suffered an earlier loss to SoCal SET in bracket play, 13-7.
    “They were ready to put it all on the line to bring home a medal,” Catharine said. “The boys jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning in convincing fashion, 13-6. This is a historic win for this group since it is the first National Tournament where a Diablo Alliance boys’ team has taken home a medal.”
    Catharine Arroyo points out the tournament recognizes winners even about game results: “This tournament recognized two Diablo Alliance athletes who were awarded the USA Water Polo Sportsmanship Awards. On the boys’ side, Peter Kroger from Orinda, took home the Jody Campbell award while Sarah Wright of Lafayette was the recipient of the Maureen O’Toole award for the girls. This award has a special place in the hearts of all Diablo players and coaches since Maureen O’Toole, along with her husband Jim Purcell, founded Diablo Alliance back in 1999.”
    For more information about Diablo Alliance, contact Catharine Arroyo at robertmarroyo@gmail.com.

(Courtesy of AJ Mast/USA Water Polo)
Diablo Alliance Water Polo girls’ team proudly took home national championship awards at Indiana University, November last year. Pictured (L-R) back row, Todd Halvorson, Sarah Wright and Robert Arroyo, middle row: Addison Dankworth, Quinn Arroyo, Rachel Tucker, Clara O’Connor, Lily Holloway, Molly Stryker and Kayden Page, and front row: Ava Sandberg, Giselle Sanchez, Tess Schirmer and Ella Del Rosario.

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