Photograph by Braelyn Wekwerth
The short, but by no means uneventful, girls’ water polo season is coming to an end. The team got really close this year. Spending everyday of the school week at practice (including Monday mornings) undoubtedly brought the team closer. But the water polo girls spent a lot of time together outside of practice as well. They had a team sleepover, as well as many team dinners and a team beach day. Because the team became so close, spending many hours every day in the pool and managing school work on top of that was rewarding.
Junior and co-captain Mihika DeSouza said, “Practice for me is fun.” DeSouza claims that water polo doesn’t feel like an obligation, saying that when you “get to spend time with your best friends and meet so many new people … That’s why I was able to manage both [water polo and school work].” Varsity co-captain Valentina Frattini says, “[Forming] bonds with the team has been a huge reason that we have improved quite a lot.” Even first year team members, like freshman Sophia Kerievsky, agree that although “[They] spend a lot of time in the pool and practicing, it’s so rewarding when [they] make so many new friends and get to see [themselves] improve.”
Last year, the girls’ water polo team graduated eight key players. This led to what DeSouza saw as their biggest challenge: “I think [a lack of] experience was definitely our biggest struggle … A lot of our varsity starters were only going into their second year on the team.” However, with the addition of 25 freshmen and an overall committed team, what they lacked in experience they made up for in dedication. DeSouza said she could even wrap up their season with a story where they went to one of their first games feeling very inexperienced and nervous, but, ultimately, they “Really pushed [themselves] and dominated.” And although inexperience was their biggest roadblock of the season, it lead to Frattini claiming, “The biggest achievement of the season was the improvement of the team as a whole.” Ultimately, the varsity team lost eleven of their games and won ten. Overall, this ranked “very closely to [their] goal,” according to Frattini. Junior varsity team captain Melody Jolliff speaks for the entire team when she says, “It wasn’t about wins or losses. We had a great season.”
Looking forward, many of the water polo players have ambitious goals. Joliff hopes to “continue to play water polo, and [her] goal is to hopefully make the varsity team.” Her hope to simply continue playing is shared by many of the freshman. Kerievsky says, “Water polo has been so fun. I just want to keep playing next season and keep my friendships that I made on the team.” DeSouza hopes next year their experience will allow them to “Win the games that we didn’t this year, but I know we could’ve.” The team loves what they do, and have become close with each other as well. This makes applying themselves and working towards improvement not only rewarding but enjoyable. The water polo team is confident in their success across the board. Next year you can expect to see most, if not all of the girls’ water polo team back together and playing hard.