Girls’ water polo hopes to maintain league win streak

Girls’ water polo hopes to maintain league win streak

Hannah Eliot '16 shoots a penalty on a Notre Dame goalkeeper in the Wolverines' 9-8 victory over Notre Dame. Credit: Bryant Wu/ Chronicle

The Girls’ Water Polo team’s season is underway, the team going 2-0 in league play and 6-3 in their overall season. The squad has the added pressure of maintaining their 19-year long league win streak.

“I think that each week we are getting better, which is really good,” Caitlin Neapole ’16 said. “We focus a lot on one specific aspect of the game each week, and by carrying that over to scrimmages and games it’s really helping us to improve.”

Before regular season, the team had a very strong start, defeating Oaks Christian 14-6. During the annual Mistletoe Classic that is hosted by Newbury Park High School, the team won 3 out of their 4 matches. In this tournament, the Wolverines defeated Granada Hills, Pacifica, and Ventura, and lost 4-8 to Foothill Tech.

“The main purpose of our season this year is to prepare us for the playoffs, specifically the Mission League Championship,” said Head of Aquatics Brian Flacks ’06. “Our loss to Notre Dame in the Mistletoe Classic really gave us the motivation to do better this season.”

The team was able to defeat the Tigers in their first league match.

“Leading up to our game against Notre Dame we spent a lot of time working on our defensive skills because we knew that they have a strong offense and we had to be prepared to defend them” Neapole said.

“Currently we’re undefeated in league as we had hoped, and beat Notre Dame by one at home,” Daily Hartmeier ’16 said. “Previously this year in a tournament we lost to them by one, so I am very pleased.”

This year, the team has greater depth this season, including veteran seniors such as Hartmeier, Hanna Eliot ’16, and returning player Neapole, while also having younger players such as Pria Pant ’18 and Taylor LaCour ’19.

This year, the seniors have stepped up to take on a bigger leadership role.

“Hanna has been playing very important games since her freshman year, so she has more experience than any of the other girls on the team, and she’s helping the younger players develop,” Flacks said. “She reminds the girls of the traditions of the program, and has provided them with a lot of wealth and experience to help them later on.”

Younger player are also stepping up this season.

“Pant has been a huge aspect in our game plan,” Hartmeier said. “She has been getting more shooting opportunities so she has been scoring a lot more for us. She’s definitely really stepped up for how young she is and become a critical piece in our team.”

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