Polo Powerhouse

Cy Creek has water polo dynasty

Cy Creek’s water polo program is a dynasty in the making. Photo by Cy Creek Water Polo

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

Even though Cypress Creek water polo added its sixth and seventh state championships the last two years, it’s often overlooked as one of the area’s most dominant dynasties.

A big part of that is being a non-UIL program, which affects exposure, funding and roster depth.

Coach Jeff Chandler lost four of his seven starters to the 2016 graduation, and a pair of first-team, all-state honorees to this year’s ceremony, but he’s been training this year’s group for a number of years.

If seniors Brooke Jones, Alexis Agueros, Kristina Gantz and Rachel Brewer, as well as junior Kayla McQueen, become the utility players and leaders he wants them to be, a three-peat could be on the horizon.

“It’s the next person up,” Chandler said of his team’s mentality. “They know what I expect, and what they need to do to win.”

Although Chandler joked that “scoring more goals than the other teams” was the key to winning another championship, it’s really going to come down to filling the roles of three losses on defense.

Former all-state, honorable-mention Jones doesn’t expect that to be a problem because she said her team performs the best when its back is against the wall.

“We have a very small water polo community at our school, and I think that may push us to be better,” Jones said. “We don’t have a lot of extra [players], so we have to work really hard to get our small bench to be very good.”

Even with Cy Creek’s tradition and excellence in the sport, water polo isn’t growing at the same rate as other schools in Cy-Fair ISD. Jones said the $250 club fee that athletes have to pay to play the TISCA sport is one of the reasons why more athletes at her school are not coming out for the sport, but Chandler thinks the added district competition will help his program long-term.

“I don’t think there’s going to be major changes until it becomes a UIL-sanctioned sport,” Jones said. “We haven’t had any kids from other sports come over to us.”

This article appeared in the December issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy today at any one of our locations!

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Yuli Gurriel had a monster night at the plate Friday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Although they lost the series 2-1, the Astros ended their road trip with a nice win over the Yankees to head home on a positive note. On Friday, they welcomed in the Toronto Blue Jays and former teammate George Springer, currently on the IL, to start a three-game series and long homestand. They had an excellent night at the plate, along with a strong start from Jose Urquidy, cruising past the Blue Jays to take the opener.

Final Score: Astros 10, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 17-15, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (3-2)

Losing Pitcher: Ross Stripling (0-2)

Jays strike first, then Houston responds and never looks back

It first appeared that Urquidy may be in for a long night, giving up two solo home runs early in Friday's game, one to Bo Bichette in the top of the first with one out to put Toronto up 1-0, then another to Danny Jansen in the top of the third. However, Urquidy would lock-in, and his offense would back him up strongly.

Houston ended up sending nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, getting two runs on a homer by Carlos Correa, then later loading the bases to set up an RBI walk by Alex Bregman. In the bottom of the fifth, with a one-run lead at 3-2, Yuli Gurriel expanded the lead to three runs on a two-run shot.

Gurriel went on to have a fantastic night, going 4-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBI. His third of those came in the bottom of the seventh, extending the lead again with an RBI single to make it 6-2. Kyle Tucker made it a five-run game that same inning with an RBI double, then more insurance came in the bottom of the eighth. They reached double-digits that inning, with Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, his fourth of the night, all getting an RBI to make it 10-2.

Urquidy finishes seven, then Emanuel finishes it off

Those gave Urquidy plenty of support, though he would bounce back after the two early homers and have a nice night on the mound. He allowed just two other hits, working around both, en route to a seven-inning two-run performance to earn him the win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 84 P.

He likely could have gone longer, but Dusty Baker turned the ball over to Kent Emanuel to wrap things up with the significant lead. He did so, despite allowing a two-run home run to former-Astro Teoscor Hernandez in the top of the ninth to make the score 10-4. The win kept the Astros above .500 and two games back of the A's, who sit atop the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be a 6:10 PM start Saturday night. The pitching matchup will be Steven Matz (4-2, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto and the electric Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75 ERA) for Houston.

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