M. Water Polo: Cerritos picks up three wins at SD Mesa Tournament

File Photo: Raul Muniz and the Falcons swept through the San Diego Mesa Tournament
File Photo: Raul Muniz and the Falcons swept through the San Diego Mesa Tournament

Over the weekend, the Cerritos College men's water polo team played four games at the San Diego Mesa Tournament and came away with wins in three of those games. On Friday, the Falcons (7-2) posted wins over both Fullerton College (18-11) and Southwestern College (23-6), while the action moved to San Diego Miramar College on Saturday with a victory over the host Jets (20-10) before the day ending with a 12-9 setback at the hands of a San Diego State University club team. The team will travel to Rio Hondo College on Wednesday for a 4:30 p.m. South Coast Conference match.

Cerritos vs. Fullerton: The game was as close as 7-5 late in the second period until sophomore Raul Muniz (Colbach, Mexico) scored a pair of goals before halftime. Muniz opened the third period with consecutive goals to give the Falcons a comfortable 12-6 advantage. Freshman Diego Perez (La Serna HS) chipped in with a goal for a seven-goal lead, with Cerritos maintaining their lead by accounting for five of the final eight goals in the match. Muniz led the team with five goals, with sophomore Arturo Ortuno (Universidad la Salle, Mexico) recording four goals and five assists, while freshman Kevin Elizarraraz (Buena Park HS) contributed three goals and a pair of assists. Typical of a Falcon team, eight different players scored, with sophomore Dylan Sun (Cerritos HS) posting five of the team's 19 steals. The goalie duo of freshman Zachary Jenkins (La Serna HS) and Michael Banda (Kennedy HS) posted nine saves in the win.

Cerritos vs. Southwestern: The Falcons scored the first nine goals of the game on their way to a comfortable win. The trio of Muniz, along with freshmen Rodrigo Baca (Kennedy HS) and Colson Morrow (Long Beach Millikan HS) each scored twice in that early swing of the game, with 11 of the 12 field players scoring at least once. Morrow finished with four goals, with Baca and freshman Mateo Fernandez (St. John Bosco HS) each adding a trio of goals. Fernandez also led the team with four steals and drew three ejections, as Morrow and sophomore Jake Evans (Long Beach Wilson HS) each finished with three steals. Cerritos scored on 23 of their 41 shots, with five players each scoring twice in the win. Banda earned his first win of the season in his first start, as he turned away six shots, while freshman Nathaniel Wolsky (Pacifica HS) played the second half and made five saves.

Cerritos vs. San Diego Miramar: Just as they did in their previous game, Cerritos opened up a 5-0 lead in the first period and led 7-5 after the first eight minutes. They went on to outscore the Jets, 11-3 over the next two periods on their way to their third consecutive win at the tournament. Elizarraraz posted two of the team's four goals in the second period, with six different players getting on the scoreboard in a seven-goal third period. Muniz finished the game with five goals, with Ortuno recording three goals and five assists. Fernandez also scored three times, with the tandem of Elizarraraz and freshman Will Alwine (La Quinta HS) both scoring twice and combined for seven steals. All three goalkeepers saw time in the net and combined for 11 saves.

Cerritos vs. San Diego State: After a high-scoring first period, where the teams combined for nine goals, the Falcons were shut out in the second period, with the Aztecs taking a 6-4 lead at intermission. Two more goals to start the second half put Cerritos down, 8-4, and then found themselves down, 12-6 with time running out in the fourth period. A goal by Elizarraraz, and two by Sun got the team to within three goals, but they ran out of time and dropped the match. Elizarraraz led the team with three goals and five steals, while Sun produced two goals and three thefts. The Falcons hurt themselves with 22 turnovers in the match, with Jenkins turning away nine shots.