It makes perfect sense, really.
A city with more water than level ground, and more swimming pools than ball fields, simply ought to foster top-flight water polo. And so it has, for the better part of a decade.
Unseeded, but ranked sixth in Division IV of the CIF Southern Section, the Malibu High School boys water polo team advanced to CIF semifinals, which took place Wednesday night at No. 2 Santa Barbara High.
Malibu defeated Royal, 11-5, and Righetti, 10-7, in the first two rounds. Semifinal results were not available at press time.
En route to the playoffs, the Sharks completed their eighth romp in as many years of the team’s existence– through the Frontier League this season. The Sharks crushed its two inland league rivals, Calabasas and Nordhoff, which are a collective zero-for-lifetime against Malibu. If such a thing is possible, the Sharks improved their historical league record to 66-0.
Malibu has never advanced this far in the playoffs, and the Sharks have expressed cautious optimism regarding their potential. According to head coach Mike Mulligan, the Sharks’ trademark tough defense, anchored by senior goalie Robbie Miller, will need to remain strong while the offense must stay composed and limit turnovers.
“We need to control the ball and play good defense,” said Mulligan. “With a little luck, I think we can get to the finals.”
“Of course we’d all like to win CIF, but some [players] want it more than others,” said senior hole-set and Captain Skylar Peak. “We definitely have a chance to win it.”