Girl’s Water Polo
With chants ringing through the swim hall and benches packed with viewers, Berkeley High School proudly displayed its love for the girls’ water polo seniors on senior night, October 19, against San Leandro High School.
“It was so amazing to see so many of my friends come, the parents, the celebration, and everyone was cheering each other on, but it was also bittersweet ’cause I know it’s [one of] the last games with these people whom I’ve known for four years,” said Anna Khan-Akselrod, a senior who has been on the girl’s water polo team since freshman year.
“They’re just all such sweet and kind people,” Morgan Ostrer, a sophomore on the team, shared as she reflected on her senior teammates. “They’re so genuine and authentic.”
After an hour-long game, the BHS team left the pool feeling jubilant following their 18-3 victory against San Leandro. With the senior class leaving the team, Khan-Akselrod left behind a two-word message, adding that, while it most directly applies to water polo, she views it as a motto for life as well, “Fourth quarter!”
Boy’s Water Polo
Within the first 10 minutes of the boy’s water polo senior night against San Leandro High School on October 19, Berkeley High School was ahead 4-0, and the roars of the crowd fed the energy in the room.
Prior to the game, head coach of the boy’s water polo team, Brodie Jasper, mentioned each senior and their contribution to the team, to which the crowd responded with applause and encouragement.
Juan Pablo De Anda, a senior, has been playing on the boy’s water polo team for three years. He shared that he has appreciated being a part of the team and community, and is grateful for all his teammates’ support. To him, the wins and losses aren’t what he values most on this team; rather, he views these times as opportunities for the team to become closer.
“[The game] was a lot of fun,” De Anda said. “I tried to have as much fun as possible and…enjoy the moment.”
The final score of 18-4 elicited celebration among the crowd and the team.“Keep up the hard work,” De Anda offered as words of encouragement regarding his fellow team members. “Keep up the good energy. Keep winning. Try your best.”
On October 18, the Berkeley High School field hockey team’s senior night celebration began with the eight seniors running through a tunnel to their team, waiting with signs and flowers.
The team was not able to defeat their opponent, San Francisco University High School, but despite the 6-1 loss, BHS was satisfied with their performance. Senior Darya Massih said that the team did “really well considering we played one of the best teams in the league. Our passes were on point and our energy was up.” She stated that when she “looked around the field, everyone was smiling and that made [her] want to play harder.”
Lane Imen, a junior, was motivated to play well for the seniors. “A lot of them are my best friends and we’ve been playing together for a while and I just wanna make sure that we have a good game,” said Imen.
Massih added that “everyone was just pushing a little harder than usual to make the night for the seniors.”
Fans packed into the Donahue gym on October 19 for the BHS women’s volleyball senior night against Castro Valley. The varsity, JV and freshman players lined up to cheer on the seven seniors. Co-Head Coach Em Huang announced the seniors as each walked down a path of balloons alongside their loved ones.
BHS won the first set 17-25, but Castro Valley prevailed during the second set, winning 28-26. Berkeley then dominated the 3rd and 4th sets. According to senior Caroline Harper, “this was the best we have cohesively played together in the whole season.” Sarai Gliksman, another senior player, said, “Usually we’re pretty motivated, but today we just weren’t gonna lose. That was definitely not an option.”
Gliksman defined the tone of the game as bittersweet. “This team has been part of me for so long, or I’ve been part of it and yeah, I guess it’s coming to an end. It’s sad,” said Gliksman. “I’m probably gonna go cry after this, but it’s happy right now. I feel good right now,” remarked senior McKenna Pattison.