Flintridge Prep water polo's rise comes with league honors

After fighting their way to second place in the Prep League, the members of the Flintridge Prep boys' water polo team had a nice surprise awaiting them at the conclusion of their CIF Southern Section Division V playoff run — all-league accolades for four of their own.

First-teamers Brian Kihn and Ethan Vandeventer and second-team recipients Diego Delgado and Carlo Sivilotti gave the Rebels (17-9, 7-3 in league) a significant presence on the all-league honor roll and further underscored a season of progress in which Prep finished two spots higher in league than the previous year.

Vandeventer, a three-time all-league player, became even more of a central figure for the Rebels in his junior season, tallying 64 goals, 37 assists and 58 steals from his position as an attacker/utility.

Hare said Vandeventer has scored more goals in previous years out of necessity, but expanded his role to include facilitator and defensive stopper this season.

“With Ethan, the true benefit of having him on the team is his incredible water polo IQ,” Hare said. “When you need someone to get a kickout or work to be the catalyst of the offense, he can. Every goal he scores is at a crucial point in the game, which I think speaks volumes.

“He understands the game and what is best for our team. ...We have built everything around him and will continue to do so.”

A co-captain along with Vandeventer, Kihn, a senior goalkeeper, anchored the Rebels defense with 151 saves, while also notching 35 steals and dishing out 11 assists.

“He has been our go-to guy, he’s played virtually every minute that we’ve needed from him as a junior and a senior,” Hare said. “He is not your conventional goalie with regards to size, but he compensates with incredible quickness, incredible instincts and he’s a very unassuming, reserved polite young man, but in crucial moments of the game, his is the loudest voice in the water.”

Delgado, a sophomore driver, earned his second straight all-league selection after posting totals of 54 goals, 30 assists and 47 steals, second on the team in scoring and takeaways.

“Diego is a creative water polo player,” Hare said. “He gets that arm slot in some very strange situations. Sometimes he will shoot that backhand that is five meters over the pool and sometimes he’ll nail it high corner. His real gift is creating his own shot and sometimes you’ve got to just let him do it. I’m amazed. I become a fan and not a coach after some of his shots.”

A standout on the Rebels swimming team, Sivilotti put together his best season yet of water polo, Hare said, during a junior year in which he totaled 21 goals, 12 assists and 25 steals while playing mostly as a defender. He also handled sprinting duties, where Hare said he was beaten only four times.

“Carlo is a swimmer who woke up one day and became a water polo player,” Hare said. “[He has] an incredible just natural strength. This is the first year that he really became a water polo player and what a tremendous gift that has been.”

The most valuable player went to league-champion Pasadena Poly’s Spencer Rogers, who would go on to lead his team to the Division V title.

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World