Boys water polo: Mundelein snares title in own tournament

 
By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/16/2019 10:42 PM
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  • Mundelein's Jake Garcia is seconds away from scoring against Niles West's goalie in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Mundelein's Jake Garcia is seconds away from scoring against Niles West's goalie in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Jonah Armenta fires to the net as Lockport's Trent Lambert defends in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Libertyville's Jonah Armenta fires to the net as Lockport's Trent Lambert defends in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Andrew Bacilek moves the ball into position as Lockport defends in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Libertyville's Andrew Bacilek moves the ball into position as Lockport defends in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's James Davies battles with Lockport's Simon Harmata for control of the ball in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Libertyville's James Davies battles with Lockport's Simon Harmata for control of the ball in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Jake Garcia battles with a Niles West player in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Mundelein's Jake Garcia battles with a Niles West player in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Matt Allore keeps ahead of Niles West defenders in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Mundelein's Matt Allore keeps ahead of Niles West defenders in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Hunter Magee is unstoppable against Nile West's defense in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Mundelein's Hunter Magee is unstoppable against Nile West's defense in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Cale Sethna strong defensive skills stop Nile West's Jacob Cachilla from getting into position to score in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday.

      Mundelein's Cale Sethna strong defensive skills stop Nile West's Jacob Cachilla from getting into position to score in the boys water polo varsity invite at Mundelein High School on Saturday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

He's a student-athlete of few words who prefers to do his talking in the water.

Mundelein sophomore Danny Oleinik has been a big part of the offense for the Mundelein boys water polo team this season.

"I just really like moving around in the water and I have awesome teammates to work with," said Oleinik, the team's leading goal scorer after two weeks of the new season.

Oleinik isn't the Mustangs' only weapon offensively.

There's terrific senior leadership with Ryan Zentz, Matt Allore, Jake Garcia, Hunter Magee, Jeff Boudreau, Ben Ford and keeper Logan Bradshaw.

"We're a lot closer as a team this year and have a bunch of guys stepping up," Oleinik said. "We're continually building the offense up and working on different plays."

Oleinik can hurt you in many ways, whether at close range, a backhand goal, or from 2-meters out.

On Saturday afternoon, he scored in a multitude of ways as the high-flying Mustangs continued their early-season surge.

In the title game of their own tourney, Oleinik popped in 6 goals while assisting on two others as the Mustangs toppled Lockport 16-7.

Mundelein finished 4-0 in the event and also won the Palatine tournament for the first time last weekend.

"He (Oleinik) just knows how to get open and get position," said Mustangs coach Russ Gates, whose team is ranked seventh by illpolo.com and is now 9-1 overall.

"And once he gets position, that provides a good opportunity for a goal or an ejection."

If you key in on him, though, opponents better be ready for a plethora of other weapons like Garcia and Zentz, who each had hat tricks against Lockport.

"Last year we had a ton of juniors and I don't think in their mind they achieved everything they wanted to," added Gates, whose team hosts Buffalo Grove Tuesday.

"We're averaging 4-5 more goals on offense and allowing a goal less defensively from last year."

Mundelein has quite a keeper in Logan Bradshaw, who stopped 10 shots against the Porters.

"He worked hard in the offseason and is so much stronger with his legs, so he doesn't have to use his hands as much staying up," noted Gates of his keeper, who's allowing just 5 goals a game.

"A big key this year is we want to win but we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves. This is a tight group in and out of the water."

Magee also scored a pair of goals, while single scores were registered by Ben Ford, Cale Sethna, and Allore.

Fremd had a decent tournament, going 2-2.

The Vikings (5-6 overall) lost to Lindbergh (St. Louis) 8-4 in the third-place game.

Coach Brian Newby liked what he saw from his team.

"We're not a real big team but we're scrappy in the water," he said. "Our guys put on nice pressure, they press, and they have great ability to move through the water. We're young but it is fun watching the kids grow through the season."

Against Lindbergh, Sebastian Lekas scored the hat trick and keepers Christian Zukowski and Shashwat Viswanath split time in goal, combining for 8 saves.

Hinsdale Central (5-4 overall) finished 2-2 in the event after flattening St. Patrick 9-1 in the fifth-place game.

The Red Devils rolled off 9 goals in a row to erase any doubt after the Shamrocks started the game with a penalty shot and 1-0 lead.

A balanced offense was led by senior Cade Griffith's 4 goals. Rhys Tallentire and Nathan Hamp added a pair of goals. Single goals were scored by Brian McManus and Will Seppanen. Keeper Zach Griffith stopped 7 shots in the victory as the Red Devils outshot St. Pat's 23-14.

Libertyville got off to a rough start going 0-3 but rebounded nicely to win the seventh-place contest over Niles West 9-7.

"We're a very young team with six sophomores that moved up from JV this year," said Wildcats coach Kara Bosman. "We have a competitive spirit and are trying to keep an open mind. We just need to continue to work on our skills and trust the process."

Against the Indians, Libertyville jumped ahead 4-0 in the first with Simon Amyot scoring a pair of goals, while single goals were added by Richie Rush, James Davies, and Sam Otto.

Niles West came back to tie the game 7-7 early in the fourth, but 2 goals by Amyot midway through the fourth and provided the final margin of victory.

Amyot ended up with 4 scores while Rush had the hat trick.

Keeper Ben Kistler registered 11 saves for the Wildcats, who are 3-4 overall.

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