SMC Men's and Women's Water Polo look to improve season

With the temperature cooling down outside, the water polo season is heating up at Santa Monica College. Brian Eskridge, the new men's water polo head coach, is looking forward to a successful first year as head coach.

For the past two years, Eskridge was assistant coach at SMC, and before that he was the former Culver High School head coach.

''It's my first year as a head coach here, and I just want to build the program,” said Eskridge.

The men's water polo season has had a rough start, at 1-7 so far this season.

Part of this was the team only had seven players available at the Mount SAC tournament, where they went 0-4.

Eskridge explained that this was due to the ineligibility of almost half the team.

''We actually played pretty well, and now we have everyone cleared,'' said Eskridge. ''This year, we are all learning and getting it all together.''

In the most recent Saddleback tournament, the men’s team went 1-3. They lost their first three matches and overcame Trade Tech College, 12-10, for their first win of the season.

This year, the men's water polo team has many freshmen players, but captains Austin Shaheri and Alex Myers look to turn the team around.

''They've been our two leading scorers in the first tournament, and will probably be our leading scorers throughout the season,'' said Eskridge.

In the match against Trade Tech, Shaheri and Myers combined for nine of the team’s 12 goals.

Now with every player cleared, the Corsairs look forward to coming together and finishing the season strong.

''Our main goal this year is to beat Citrus College," said Eskridge. "They've beaten us in the last few years, and we plan on beating them this year."

Steve Contarsy coaches the women’s water polo team.

So far this year, the lady Corsairs have gone 1-7, but Contarsy believes that the team is improving each game.

Contarsy wants to see his squad play more as a team, and wants them to get back to 500 for the season.

Patty Salgado, player number four from Beverly Hills High School, was singled out as a player to watch for this season.