Volume 1 Number 2       March 15, 2009

Etna...This is a common answer to many crossword puzzles. The question is in reference to the volcano that is located in Sicily.

The reason I bring this up is because I see the top of this volcano everyday on my commute to the pool. Can you believe that in the three seasons that I have played in Catania , I never found an occasion or motivation to go up there. I finally did the sunday after valentine's day. About half my team motivated and organized a trip up there with a "pranzo italiano" at a ski odge. Im sure you all have heard of the big family brunch that takes place on sundays here in italy. You eat for hours and have some espresso after to settle it all. This day trip was awesome and it was needed. We all ate so much and the appetite of all water polo players regarless of passport is the same, we can chow down.

On a more serious note, I have not played an officialy game since Jan 31, but we will play our next game at home against Fiorentina on March 7th. We are 10 days out. I cant wait. Im hoping that it will be televised on the Rai Sport channel here in italia. Then, maybe it can be watched via "you tube" or something. Last friday, I was channel surfing and stopped to watch a water polo game on TV. It happen to be Jeff Powe's team here in italy (Brescia). I wish more water polo games would be televeised live in the USA...On that note, Im off to practice...Ciao tutti, bouna giornata.

Sorry for the slow report, haven’t really had a chance to sit down with a PC for a while, but now I have my own PC and am able to give regular feedback on the games we play and how we’re doing in the Championship.

So 2 weeks ago we played in Rome against Vis Nova Roma and lost 3-10.  We played horribly to say the least, it’s like we’re two different teams when we play at home and when we play away, incredible.  It would have been better if we hadn’t shown up for the game at all.  I’m not going to go into any detail about that game because the score-line tells the story pretty accurately.

Last week we played against another team from Rome at home, Rari Nantes Roma (RN Roma) and won 7-4.  This was an important game for us to win because RN Roma are in last place on the log.  I unfortunately didn’t have much effect on the game because in the 3rd quarter  I got my 3rd major.  The thing is that not one of the majors was legit, they were all for pulling the opponent back which is something I NEVER do because I can catch the guy when he goes in the counter, all I do is put my hands up and wait for him to get away and then I catch him on the swim… but these ref’s were watching another game and really had it in for me ;) Anyway, the game started badly for us, going down 3-1 in the 1st, but they never scored again till the last quarter where they scored one goal at the beginning to draw level, 4-4.  After that we kicked up another gear and took advantage of some gross errors on their attack and countered to score a number of times, even Lelio Salvi who has a bust right elbow managed to put one in the back of the net.  And that was that, we won and jubilation all round :)

Now to the game this past weekend.  We played against Blue Shark Cagliari away, they are based in Cagliari, Sardinia.  An island north of Sicily with the most beautiful beaches in the Med (So I’ve been told…).   Again we started the game badly going down 3 goals before clawing our way back to level terms by the end of the 1st.  After that the game was all ours until 6 minutes from the end.  We completely control the pace of the game and just outright dominated.  We played a defense where everyone zones back on the Centre (Even the two wings zone) and we back ourselves to either block their shots or back our keeper to save it, and boy did this work for us. 6 minutes from the end the score was 7-5 to us, when one of our players got either punched/elbowed/kneed/kicked in the face and had to swim to side, but the crowd went mental because Cagliari had a counter attack opportunity, they were jeering and going berserk, then our player did the unthinkable and gave the crowd the finger, the referee saw this and ejected him for the game, this was the beginning of the end for us because then our coach got a red card, god knows why?! And things just fell apart from there.  Everything turned against us, they scored 5 goals to our 2 in the final 6 minutes… How is that even possible?? Absolutely crazy.  End score, 8-10.

So I’m sure you can imagine the disappointment in our camp at the moment, this was going to be our 1st win away from home and it would have been such a good win because Cagliari was only one point ahead of us on the log, now we’re still on 9 points and they’ve shot to 13 when it should have been us on 12 and them still on 10.  Our championship would have been a lot more comfortable if we had won this last game.

The next game is at home against Rari Nantes Salerno and is gonna be extremely tough because they are a very good team, but hopefully we can pull ourselves together and put in a good performance.  Will keep you posted.