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Grossmont College men’s water polo team is picking up the pace as PCAC finals near

Grossmont College’s men’s water polo team faced off the season by participating in a Labor Day Weekend mini-tournament at Southwestern College. The six-team field included Cerritos, Citrus and Cuesta colleges from Orange County and Grossmont, Miramar and SWC among local teams.

The San Diego teams all finished 0-3 but competition against traditionally stronger programs was important as it helped the local teams gear up for Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play.

Grossmont defeated Crafton Hills, 27-7, in its conference opener on Sept. 1 and followed that up with a 23-15 non-conference win at Cypress.

Brock Kammerer, a USA Water Polo All-American at San Diego Shores, led the Griffins in the win over Crafton Hills with six goals and two assists while Garrett Durado chipped in with five goals and one assist.

Ryan Beery, Austin Gaeir and Elijah Hough each scored three goals while Liam Lawadzki collected six assists and Anson Rasmussen had four assists.

Eric Bates (six saves) and Parker George (eight saves) split time in the cage.

Conditioning was a factor early in the season as Grossmont dropped contests to Cuesta (17-9), Cerritos (18-14) and Citrus (15-9).

“We have a solid group of guys but we’re extremely out of shape as far as polo goes,” said Grossmont head coach Ty Lackey, who was named to the California Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame Class for 2021 for outstanding achievement as a player at both Grossmont College and later at UC San Diego.

“We’re struggling right now. We weren’t able to practice until just recently and it will take time to get where we want to be. We’ll likely have a slow start but we’ll have a good team by the end of the season.”

Lackey, an All-American at both Grossmont College and UC San Diego, has proven right on the that point.

The Griffins have since zoomed to a 7-0 record in conference play, 15-9 overall.

Grossmont has recorded a pair of conference victories against defending conference champion San Diego Mesa (11-9 on Sept. 15 and 16-10 on Sept. 25) while defeating Southwestern (18-7 on Sept. 10), San Diego Miramar (25-12 on Sept. 12), Palomar (17-13 on Oct. 2) and Crafton Hills again (15-4 on Oct. 6).

Kammerer tops the Griffins with 86 goals in 24 games. He’s followed on the scoresheet by Durado with 64 goals and Emiliano Castro with 43 goals. Kammerer has added 39 assists, 26 steals and 11 blocks to lead the team in those categories as well.

Lawadzki ranks second on the team with 27 assists while Castro is third with 25. Durado and Lawadzki rank in a tie for second place with 22 steals.

George has racked up 142 saves while Bates has made 115 stops.

The Griffins will cap regular season play Oct. 29-20 at the Dia de los Muertos tournament at Southwestern College. The PCAC championship tournament is scheduled Nov. 5-6, also at Southwestern College.

Miramar ranks second in the conference standings at 4-2, followed by Mesa at 4-3.

Grossmont College men’s water polo team is picking up the pace as PCAC finals near

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Source: East County Californian

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