From L to R: Senior Marko Asic, junior Riley Zachary and senior Bennett Williams and the Dana Hills boys water polo team will play for a third consecutive South Coast League title this season. Photo: Steve Breazeale
From L to R: Senior Marko Asic, junior Riley Zachary and junior Bennett Williams and the Dana Hills boys water polo team will play for a third consecutive South Coast League title this season. Photo: Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

The Dana Hills boys water polo offense will boast a formidable attacking duo this season, as senior Marko Asic and junior Bennett Williams return.

Both players offer unique skill sets, according to head coach Matt Rosa.

Rosa said that Asic is a pure shooter, who can score from all angles and can also create for his teammates. Asic plays the ball handler role and uses his creativity, skill and vision to score.

Williams, who spent the offseason playing with the USA Men’s Youth National Team, plays with a more aggressive style, Rosa said. The veteran coach said Williams likes to drive and slash his way to the goal and positions his body well. In seven games, Williams has 18 goals and 16 assists.

“Most teams don’t have the attacker combination that we have. We have two really good attackers that are matchup problems on the perimeter,” Rosa said. “The combination of the two of them—A guy with real good ball skills, pure shooter, and the attacker that can move really well—is tough. Especially when we get to our league, I think teams are going to struggle to match up with them.”

Junior goalie Riley Zachary returns to anchor the Dolphins defense.

Despite reaching the quarterfinals of the postseason in back to back years, the Dolphins, and the South Coast League, have been moved to Division 2 in 2014. The move should make their path to another deep playoff run slightly easier.

The Dolphins competed in tournaments throughout the summer and were without Williams, who was playing in Europe, for much of that stretch, leading to weeks of up and down results.

The Dolphins’ are playing the same nonleague schedule they did last season. The slate features top-ranked programs and high-profile tournaments. So far, the Dolphins own a 2-5 overall record, picking up wins over Cathedral Catholic and Claremont.

The tough nonleague schedule was designed by Rosa in an effort to get his relatively untested team experience playing at a high level.

“We’ve had some growing pains. It’s a learning experience. They’re going to have to learn how to play at that level and we’re not there yet. We’re going to have to figure out how to play well and by the time we get to CIF, we’ll be prepped for that,” Rosa said.

The Dolphins, who are currently ranked No. 5 in the CIF-SS Division 2 rankings, are set to open league play with a match against El Toro on Sept. 30.

Season Schedule:

Date                Opponent                    Location, Time

9/20                 Agoura                         San Juan Hills High School, 12:45 p.m.

9/30*               El Toro                                    ETHS, 5 p.m.

10/2*               Tesoro                         THS, 5 p.m.

10/7*               Tesoro                         DHHS, 5 p.m.

10/9                 Laguna Beach              LBHS, 4 p.m.

10/14*             San Clemente               SCHS, 5 p.m.

10/17               Los Osos                      LOHS, 4:15 p.m.

10/18               Huntington Beach        HBHS, 1 p.m.

10/21*             Mission Viejo              DHHS, 5 p.m.

10/28*             El Toro                                    DHHS, 5 p.m.

11/4*               San Clemente               DHHS, 5 p.m.

11/6*               Mission Viejo              MVHS, 5 p.m.

*–denotes league game

 

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