2012 Dallas Summer Classic (Results)

Last weekend, the Totex squad headed up to Southlake, Texas to compete in the Dallas Summer Classic.  The tournament featured several of the best club teams in Texas;  including HOPS, Dallas, San Antonio, West Houston (primarily current or recent college players who return to the Houston area for the summer) and The University of Texas.  We knew we had to bring our A game to come out with a tournament victory, and as you’ll soon see from the results, our B+ effort on Sunday did not result in the final standings we were looking for.

Game 1- TOTEX 16  Thunder Black 3

Our first game of the tournament saw us matched up against Dallas area high school boys and girls.  The Thunder team was in great shape, but lacked the size to deal with our set players and the experience to anticipate when to take off in transition.  Game lowlights: several of our guys had issues adapting to the grip on the Winart water polo balls, which resulted in several skied shots, poor passes, and one (accidental we swear) skip-face-bar down 5 meter to end the game.

Game 2- TOTEX 16  Dallas Masters B 3

After Hoffman insisted that we use our sizable mid day break to take in the best pump up movie in theaters, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, we were more than amped for game two.  Drawing on the strength and determination of the heartwarming relationship Dodge and Penny founded under extreme conditions, we roared out of the gate with a 7-0 first quarter and never looked back.  Our performance suffered slightly in the 2nd half when we lost focus on the game and instead tried to explain how Marty Sheen could possibly fly a single engine Cessna over the Atlantic Ocean (Spoiler Alert!)  Game highlights:  Arseni took a stray elbow to the eyebrow in the 4th quarter, simultaneously improving his looks and upgrading his team role from “shooter” to “bruiser”.

Game 3- TOTEX 13  San Antonio 3

The third and final game of the day pitted us against the 2nd place team in the B bracket, San Antonio.  Led by founder(?) Jim Yates, the San Antonio Masters club plays a physical brand of water polo that doesn’t give away anything easily on defense.  Even though we were held to three goals below our (up to that point) tournament average, we managed to prevail in the slug-fest without accumulating any further injuries.  Game ball awarded to Hunter for his willingness to mix it up both in the field and in the cage.  We could count on Hunter to be middle of any sort of scrum that took place; his energy definitely kept San Antonio’s hands full for the entire game.

Game 4- TOTEX  7  Dallas Masters 9

We awoke bright eyed and clear headed on Sunday morning knowing that we were about to face our first real challenge of the tournament in the Semi-Final match up with Dallas.  To make things even more interesting, we were down one player from Saturday.  Conner (left handing 2 meter scoring threat)  and Carlos (unlimited energy)  both had to leave before our games, although we did pick up Jim (crafty, inspirational speeches, married to a heck of a seamstress) who drove up earlier that morning.  Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us.  We started off the game trading goals, with Dallas hitting on a few outside shots and us responding with a mixture of creative passing and speedy t-shots.  At halftime we were up big on style points but unfortunately down one on actual points.  Knowing that we had to come out strong in the 3rd to take control of the game, we instead gave up three quick goals, and that was pretty much all she wrote.  Jon D kept us close for the rest of the game with several great one on nobody blocks, and Arseni found his shooting stroke on his way to racking up somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 goals, but we were never able to close the gap.   It was a disappointing loss for us, but props to Dallas for playing the better game and capitalizing on our many mistakes.  Also, props to Rudy for finally picking up a yellow card, even if it was just for an unannounced goalie switch.  Ultimately, we view this defeat as a learning experience, and hope to correct any tactical errors exposed during the game.

Game 5- TOTEX 10  West Houston 5

Our opponents for the 3rd place game featured several NCAA collegiate water polo players, and, fortunately for us, only 8 players total.  As this was the first game all tournament where we had a numbers advantage on the bench, our game plan was try to swim them early and then rely on our fresher subs to blow the game open in the 2nd half.  Surprisingly, that’s exactly what happened, and we pulled away in the fourth quarter for the five goal win.  It wasn’t all smooth sailing however, as the team started out with several missed lobs, including what is usually an automatic spin lob.  After a friendly inter-team discussion, we decided that we would “shoot like grown ass men” for the rest of the game.  Predictably, Jim led the way on this team wide endeavor, and powered in a blistering 20mph laser with his next shot coming out of the quarter break.

Overall, it was a good tournament and one of the better times we’ve had in Dallas in awhile.  We didn’t end up with the result we we looking for, but I think that just makes us even more hungry for the next competition.   Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back in July for more results chronicling our performance in the Houston Summer Open.

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