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updated: 4/10/2014 7:09 PM

Experienced Hersey is measuring up

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It sure feels like the numbers are starting to favor Hersey's boys water polo team.

Though the Huskies are the defending Mid-Suburban East champs, one digital outlier has been dogging the program. Despite recent successes, Hersey has never finished a season with a winning record.

After improving to 9-1 overall after a 19-10 victory over visiting Schaumburg on Wednesday, it's safe to presume Hersey's well on its way to a erasing the lack of a winning record.

Following a key win earlier this week against Prospect, the Huskies are also 5-0 against its MSL East competition, meaning a repeat divisional title is a likelihood.

One more numerical nuance: Hersey coach Dick Mortensen is just 1 victory away from career coaching triumph No. 200. It's a season that feels like the perfect storm for a program that's thinking big.

"What's great about this team is we really have great flexibility with the lineup," said Mortensen.

The core group features Connor Reynolds, Jack Carroll, George Vladimirov, Michael Buffa and Jake Hall alongside goalie J. Maxwell.

"What's nice is that whole group of guys got to play together all of last year," Mortensen said. "It's not often you get two full years with the same group. That's helps a lot with some of the subtleties when it comes to defending, switching.

"I call a timeout to go over something situational, and I'm done in like 20 seconds. These guys, they already know before I tell them."

Reynolds had the hot hand against Schaumburg, finished with 5 goals, including 2 in the third period as the Huskies outscored the Saxons 6-1 to break open what had been a fairly close matchup. Carroll finished with 4 goals, as did Vladimirov and Buffa.

James Birriel was a force for Schaumburg, scoring 5 of his 7 goals in the first half. The Saxons have a strong team and have been a tough foe for the top teams in the MSL West so far this season.

Hersey's particularly difficult to match up with because of its size. All the field players are at least 6 feet, and almost all of them are multi-sport athletes.

Mortensen hopes to harness all those game smarts down the stretch, as Hersey aims for a repeat MSL East title and a high seed in the Palatine sectional, where the host Pirates are looking like a solid No. 1.

"Perfect world, we get the No. 2 seed," said Mortensen, "and then, who knows?"

Palatine 18, Prospect 12: The MSL West-leading Pirates improved to 9-2 overall with a victory over the Knights, who are in second place in the MSL East, 1 game behind Hersey.

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