Playing in the Saddleback Invitational in Mission Viejo, the Pirates' men's water polo team put together a pair of solid wins, 15-7 over Modesto and 18-13 against San Deigo Miramar. Kevin Smallwood had a solid defensive day with nine steals to lead VC (12-5, 1-0) while Clint Howard scored eight goals in the two matches.
Ventura 15, Modesto 7
Ventura took control with a strong first quarter with six different players scoring goals. VC outscored the Pirates of Modesto 6-2 in the opening eight minutes and led 9-5 at halftime. Ventura held Modesto scoreless in the third while finding the cage four times to put the match away. Howard led the attack with four scores, an assist and three steals while Roger Escalante and Jack Pickett each scored twice and Smallwood recorded three steals with an assist. Luis Galvez had three blocks in goal while Andrew Escobar turned back five shots.
Ventura 18, San Diego Miramar 13
After falling behind 1-0, Ventura scored six straight goals to take command of the game. VC led 8-2 at the end of one period and 13-6 at intermission. Escalante scored all three of his goals in the first quarter and Howard netted four goals in the match. Isaac Alvary netted three goals with an assist and a steal while Kyle Goodrich had two scores with three assists. Smallwood had six steals against the Jets on defense and Galvez had five saves in the cage.
The Pirates continue play at the Saddleback Invitational Saturday Oct. 1. They will take on El Camino at 9:00 am before battling the host Gauchos at 11:20.