By Cary Volpert
The girlsâ water polo squad did not let their season end after a crushing 20-19 triple overtime defeat to Whittier in the first round of CIF before winning the Mission League title and boasting a flawless 10-0 undefeated Mission League record first. The water polo crew sported a 17-6 overall record. Players on the team attributed much of their success to the coaching staff. Camille Hooks â11 said the combination of swimming and water polo coaches helped the team stay on top of their game.
“Larry [Felix] and [Greg] Gonzalez both did a great job with our team and put a huge amount of time and effort into making us the best we could be,” she said. “Also, Dawn Barrett our swim coach played a huge role in making sure we were in good swimming condition which helped us a lot in our games.”
Hooksâ teammate Ashley Grossman â11 agreed.
“The coaching this year was truly great,” she said. “From the swimming practices we had before water polo, with Dawn Barrett, to the water polo practices we had with Larry Felix, we were in great shape and knew all about the game. Larry knew our team and personal goals since the beginning of the season, and he was very willing to work with us to reach those goals.”
Despite worries that the team might be too young to compete at a high level, the team reached many of their goals.
“Most of our team goals were accomplished; we wanted to win league, which we did, without losing a game,” Grossman said. “Another one of our goals was to win CIF. We didnât make it there, we only made it to the first round, but I think because we didnât reach that goal, it will make us work harder in years to come. We were a young team, so it was really great that we even made it to first round.”
Ultimately, Grossman thinks that losing in the first round of CIF will make the team much better next year because the “team now knows how much work truly goes in to being a top team, and that hard work really does pay off.”
For Hooks, the future looks bright for this squad.
“I am really excited for next year because this year our team was so young,” she said. “I think next year we will all have improved and already know the basics of the game so we can continue from where we left off.”