The Grand Haven water polo team has already beaten the 2013 state runner-up — Ann Arbor Pioneer — and coach Matt Alman has his eyes on the 2014 runner-up as well. He wants to win a state title.
“Last year, I thought the sky was the limit, and I think we’re even better this year,” Alman said. “I can’t see us, at least not making it to the state tournament. If we make it to the state tournament (which the Buccaneers have not made in the recent past) I’ll be happy.
“But honestly, for them I’m not going to be happy until we’re good enough to win the state championship. We already beat — granted it’s early in the season — but we already beat the state runner-up once. And we didn’t even play that well. There’s no reason that if we play as a team, play well, work around each other that we can’t do it again, or make it to the state championship game. I don’t see that as a stretch at all.”
Haven defeated Pioneer as part on an early-bird tournament at Rockford on Aug. 15-16, 8-7.
The Bucs went 3-1 at that tournament, falling to Okemos in their opener 10-5, after a number of their players were unable to make the opening game.
Grand Haven recovered nicely, following the Pioneer victory with a 12-5 win over Rockford’s B team, and an 8-6 W against the No. 2 ranked team in Ohio, Cincinnati’s St. Francis Xavier.
Alman lost seven seniors off last year’s squad, including his top three scorers, but the Bucs will not be short on firepower.
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