Get the buses ready!

Get the buses ready!

The Saddleback men's water polo team qualified for the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Tournament on Saturday with a 13-6 win against Grossmont College in the Southern California Regional semifinals.  It is just the third time in school history that men's water polo will play in the state tournament.

Saddleback advanced to the regional finals in dominating fashion.  The Bobcats and Griffins were even through most of the opening quarter before Saddleback took control of the game.  Trailing 4-3 late in the opening quarter, the Bobcats proceeded to score seven straight goals in taking a 10-4 lead midway through the third quarter.  Saddleback had it on cruise control from that point forward, gaining some revenge from a loss to Grossmont earlier in the season.  The Bobcat defense held the Griffins scoreless for a 15:57 span during the game while putting the game out of reach.

Saddleback's Andrew Barnuevo led the Bobcats in scoring, tallying four goals on the day.  Barnuevo (pictured) had three of the goals during the 7-0 run, frustrating the Griffin defense.  Barnuevo now has a team-high 95 goals for the season and has nine goals in two games in the regional.

Saddleback will play Golden West College in the regional finals this afternoon at 3:00 PM at Southwestern College.

Saddleback is now 27-6 overall for the season.  The 27 wins is the second most in program history, trailing only the 1998 team that won 28.  The win also secured a spot in the CCCAA Final Four at Las Positas College in Livermore, California, next week.  It is the first time that Saddleback has advanced to the state tournament since 1998 and just the third time in the 48-year history of the program.