Girls water polo reflects over season after loss


Sandra Koretz/Chronicle

At the girls water polo game against Louisville High School, Jasmine Tang ’24 prepares to pass the ball to her teammate.

The girls water polo team looks to rebound from a three game losing streak with an overall record of 7-7 as it crosses the halfway point of its season. The team won its first two Mission League games against Marymount High School and Louisville High School on Jan. 12.

 The team is the defending CIF Division II Southern Section champion from the 2019-2020 season, as CIF playoffs were cancelled last season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goalkeeper Thea Pine ’23 said although she and her teammates honed their individual skills and team chemistry early on in the season in comparison to its last season, the team still has room to improve.

“As a team, we have learned to play a bit more cohesively compared to the beginning of the season, but we still have our moments where that is not always the case,” Pine said. “We have also definitely gotten stronger and faster as a team from conditioning in the weight room and in the pool.”

Pine said the team needs to focus on maintaining their intensity as well as energy throughout games. 

“We need to work on consistency,” Pine said. “Occasionally, we will play a team and won’t really bring [our energy] until the third or fourth quarter, so playing well consistently throughout the game is something we could work on.”

Attacker Fiona Gillearn ’23 said the team needs to refine its ability to adapt its play style to fit the skills of each individual member instead of conforming to their opponents’ play style.

“We can improve on playing our own game, playing to our own strengths and not [letting] the team we are opposing dictate our tactics or energy throughout the game,” Gillearn said.

Of the team’s 13-player roster, Gillearn said each player should take on an active role in the program.

“[Every player] has learned how to step up as a leader,” Gillearn said. “Especially since we have a small, close-knit team, it’s important that each player holds one another accountable and picks each other up.”

As the COVID-19 omicron variant cases continue to rise in the Los Angeles area, the school’s Athletics Department canceled several of the girls water polo team’s games to ensure the safety of the team’s players. The team dropped out of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, during which it would have played Orange Lutheran High School, and canceled its Dec. 22 match against Laguna Beach High School.

Gillearn said the match cancelations taught the team to be resilient and enjoy the games they are still able to play.

“We have learned to be more flexible and maintain focus [on the games we are playing], even with all the frequent changes,” Gillearn said.

The team will play its upcoming match against Oaks Christian on Wednesday, January 19 at 4:00 p.m.