WALNUT -- It's been a strong start to the 2016 season for the Orange Coast College men's water polo team and last weekend, the fun continued for the Pirates as they swept through the Mt. San Antonio Tournament with four wins in four matches.
In the opener, Coast (8-1) notched a hard-fought 7-5 win over host Mt. San Antonio. OCC found its offense from Kevin Dayan (two goals), Gavin Scott, Ias Tesdall, Ariel Levi, Ilan Dayan and Parker Evans, but the real story of the contest was sophomore Alexander Furlong, who set a new school record with 22 saves against a solid Mounties' squad.
The strong play continued later in the day as the Pirates topped Sierra College, 11-7. Evans had four goals, Scott added three goals, Ilan Dayan notched a pair of goals and single tallies were turned in by Kevin Dayan and Skyler Chanove.
On Saturday, a strong first half kept the Pirates in a winning mood as they defeated Rio Hondo, 11-6. Coast scored the first three goals, led 8-2 at the half and never looked back.
But perhaps the strongest match of the weekend came in the tourney finale as the Pirates rallied for an 11-10 win over Cuesta College. Coast trailed 9-6 at the half before holding the Cougars to just one goal the rest of the way. A pair of goals by Levi in the third quarter got OCC to within one at 9-8 before a goal by Ilan Dayan tied the score at 9 early in the fourth. Kevin Dayan put the Pirates ahead for good with back-to-back goals, while Furlong (19 saves) and the Coast defense made that lead hold up.
Levi and Evans each had three goals for the Pirates, who return to action on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at home against Riverside City College, beginning at 4 p.m.
NOTE -- Wednesday's OEC home matchup against Santa Ana College has been canceled due to a lack of players for the Dons. The OCC-SAC women's match will take place, as scheduled, at 3 p.m. at Orange Coast.