BOYS WATER POLO: Loyola continued to build its case for the No. 1 seed at the Glenbrook South Sectional by beating Evanston 8-4 at home Tuesday. The Ramblers (16-3) now are 2-0 against sectional opponents, owning a 13-5 win over Niles West on March 24. They play Glenbrook South on the road April 24, two days before the IHSA releases the seeds.
“We are taking care of business,” Loyola head coach Dan Hengelmann said.
Senior Charlie Freedman scored a team-best three goals, while senior John Merucci and junior Kenny Sajnaj each scored two apiece. Sophomore Kevin Considine had one goal.
But as they done for most of the season, the Ramblers shined on defense. They held an opponent to four goals or less for the ninth time and are allowing an average of 6.3 goals per game.
“I’m very happy with the way we are playing defensively,” Hengelmann said. “We made a couple of mistakes against Evanston, guys getting behind us, but we knew it right away. We probably should have given up two goals.
“It’s fun to see the guys buying into our philosophy.”
According to Hengelmann, senior Tony Spallone has been a stopper as the team’s primary 2-meter defender.
“He’s the one who takes away the big guy in the middle,” Hengelmann said. “He’s so savvy at what he does.”
The Ramblers had a good showing at Lyons’ invitational Friday and Saturday. They beat Whitney Young 13-5 and Oak Park-River Forest 10-2 and lost to Lyons 6-5 in triple overtime. The host Lions are No. 3 in the latest Illpolo.com rankings, while Loyola is No. 5.
The Ramblers allowed the fewest goals (13) in the six-team field.
Sajnaj scored a team-best nine goals, while senior Merucci added six goals and senior Freedman contributed five goals.
Loyola plays at home Wednesday against St. Viator.
GIRLS WATER POLO: Loyola head coach Kim Przekota expected a challenge last weekend at Fenwick’s invitational, which featured many of the state’s top teams.
The Ramblers lost to defending state champion Stevenson 17-4, Lyons 11-4 and New Trier 5-4. They beat St. Ignatius 8-2. Both the Trevians and Wolfpack were state qualifiers a year ago.
Loyola (10-8) hosts St. Viator on Wednesday.