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Comets water polo captures PCAC

A male Palomar water polo player tries to throw a ball from as an opponent tries to block him with his left arm.
Palomar’s Mitch Lerma gets ready to throw the ball over Jose Ibanez during the men’s water polo game at the Wallace Memorial Pool on Oct. 14, 2015. Palomar defeated Southwestern 21-11. (Lou Roubitchek/The Telescope)
Palomar’s Mitch Lerma gets ready to throw the ball over Jose Ibanez during the men’s water polo game at the Wallace Memorial Pool on Oct. 14. Palomar defeated Southwestern 21 to 11. Lou Roubitchek / The Telescope
Palomar’s Mitch Lerma gets ready to throw the ball over Jose Ibanez during the men’s water polo game at the Wallace Memorial Pool on Oct. 14. Palomar defeated Southwestern 21 to 11. Lou Roubitchek / The Telescope

The Comets men’s water polo team is looking to finish this season strong as they beat Southwestern 21-10 on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and improved to 6-1 in conference games. With the win on Wednesday, Oct. 21 against Grossmont, The Comets have at the least clinched a tie for the conference title.

The conclusive victory over Southwestern was a major confidence booster for the team who was in the middle of a seven game losing streak at the time, although none of the games lost were in conference play. Head coach Chad Aronen said he “didn’t really pay attention to the losses recently” and added that “(the team) set a couple of goals for the game and met both.”

Last week’s game against Grossmont was the most important game of the season considering it was a must-win if the Comets wanted to repeat as conference champions.

The Comets defeated Grossmont by a score of 19-8. San Diego Mesa plays their final PCAC game this coming Wednesday and has a 6-1 record. If they lose against Southwestern, the Comets will finish as the lone conference champions.

Palomar Coach Chad Aronen with his team during the Oct. 21 match against visiting Grossmont College at the Wallace Memorial Pool. Palomar went on to win 19-8. Hanadi Cackler/ The Telescope
Palomar Coach Chad Aronen with his team during the Oct. 21 match against visiting Grossmont College at the Wallace Memorial Pool. Palomar went on to win 19-8. Hanadi Cackler/ The Telescope

The Comets have been able to maintain a consistent level of success over the last few years. Aronen said he is proud of his team’s success against the conference, although added that he “expects a little bit more.”

“I think we’ve played well enough to be where we’re at right now but I definitely believe that we can improve and we can play better,” coach Aronen said.

Although Aronen’s expectations may be high for the team, the players expressed how much they enjoy playing for the 2014 conference coach of the year.

Sophomore Nick Hendricks said “(Aronen) does a great job of taking the practice seriously, but also making them light-hearted, so it’s a great way to fuse having fun but also driving intensity as well.”

Aronen seems to know how to get his players to work hard for him. He said his team’s biggest strength this season has been their “work ethic,” adding that “the dedication level (of the players) has been the number one aspect of our game so far.”

The team has been doing two-a-days everyday, and they have three practices on Fridays in preparation for the final stretch of the season.

Palomar won their previous game against Grossmont by a score of 18-7, giving them the confidence they needed to get a win last week. The Comets play next during the weekend on Oct. 30 and 31 in a tournament hosted at Saddleback College.

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Comets water polo captures PCAC