Water Polo Opens 2009 Season at MIT
The Brown University men’s water polo squad will begin its
2009 season on Saturday, Sept. 5, at the MIT Invitational. The
Bears begin competition against Claremont at 9:30 a.m., and follow
it up with a 12:30 p.m. match against Redlands. Brown will end the
tournament on Sunday, Sept. 6 with a game against Pacific at 9:45
a.m. on Sunday.
Third-year head coach Felix Mercado is excited about the start of the new season, and is expecting great things despite the loss of four of its top five scorers from last year.
“While replacing the four starters from last year will not be an easy feat, I feel that with the improvement of the returning players and the addition of the five freshmen we should be in good shape,” said Mercado.
Leading Brown’s defensive effort is senior captain Kent Holland (Orinda, CA), who will be counted on once again to be stellar in between the pipes. Last season, Holland posted an 18-11 record and tallied 196 saves.
Contributing on the offensive end will be senior Zach Levko (Wildwood, MO) and juniors Corey Schwartz (Los Angeles, CA), second team All-North selection Gordon Hood (Carlsbad, CA), and Brandon Yoshimura (Haverford, PA). Schwartz netted 33 goals, handed out 12 assists and recorded 15 steals during the 2008 season, while Levko tallied 12 goals, 14 assists and 12 steals.
Sophomores Marcus Gartner (San Jose, CA) and CWPA Northern Division Rookie of the Year Toby Espinosa (Palo Alto, CA) will add some punch on both ends of the pool this season. Gartner netted seven goals and handed out three assists as Espinosa provided a spark for Bruno with three goals and nine assists.
Mercado brought in a talented group of rookies, as Dean Serure (Coral Gables, FL) and Svetozar Stefanovic (Belgrade, Serbia) will man the center position that was cleared out by Brown’s leading scorer, Mike Gartner.
Mercado will also look to freshman Mike Hartwick (Los Angeles, CA) and Cyrus Modejhi (La Jolla, CA) to contribute on the defensive end of the field while freshman Ryan Gladych (Newport Beach, CA) will look to add some outside shooting.
After the MIT Invitational this weekend, Brown heads to Princeton University for the Princeton Invite from Sept. 11-13 and will then compete in the ECAC Championship from Sept. 19-20.