BURBANK — It was simple equation that explained the Hoover High girls' water polo team's 14-4 loss to Alemany in the Burbank High Tournament on Saturday — the more the Tornadoes' fatigue mounted up, the bigger the deficit got.
Hoover Coach Ara Oganesyan said his team is having trouble maintaining its stamina throughout games at this point in the season and that showed itself to be true during Saturday's loss.
"At first I thought it was inexperience and I thought, 'Alright, let's [get them playing] more water polo,'" Oganesyan said. "What we're realizing is it's not inexperience, it's conditioning.
"Once the body gets tired, the mind gets tired and all the stuff they learn during practice, it's much harder to execute when you're having a tough time thinking what you have to do to execute."
The Tornadoes (0-5), who were led by three goals from Erin Babakhani, finished the first quarter down by just three goals, 4-1, and cut that deficit back down to 4-2 on a goal by Teni Danoukh just over two minutes into the second quarter.
But Alemany closed the period on a 4-0 run, as the Tornadoes' defense began to soften and their offense flagged.
Another run by Alemany further put the game out of reach to begin the third period, as Hoover didn't get its next goal until there was just 1:50 left in the quarter, when Babakhani made it 11-3 on a turnaround.
"We're going to try to condition a little bit more, while preserving the water polo aspect in practice," said Oganesyan, whose team went 0-4 in the three-day round-robin tournament, including an 18-3 loss to La Cañada earlier Saturday. "The good thing is we've got an amazing group of girls who want to learn. Every day they improve without any limits."