Girls Water Polo starts season with losing record ahead of league play


REACH FOR THE STARS: Goalie Thea Pine ’23 stretches upwards to save a goal during a game against Mira Costa High School on Dec. 3.

Jackson Mayer

Girls water polo has gone 1-2 overall in the preseason, losing to Long Beach Wilson 9-7 on Nov. 30 and Mater Dei 8-7 on Dec. 7, but won against Mira Costa 8-4 on Dec. 3.

Veronica Mnatsakanian ’26 said the team rebounded from their loss against Long Beach Wilson High School by staying focused throughout the match. 

“We really just picked ourselves up and got our heads back in the game,” Mnatsakanian said. “Focusing on how to get quicker on some factors helped us get back in the groove of it all.”

Program Head Jennifer Jamison said the team is in an adjustment period right now.

“[Team members] are being placed in different roles than they have been in the past,” Jamison said.” It is a little bit of an adjustment. I think right now we’re in the struggle portion of it. You know, I think give it some time.”

Attacker Eva Vaca ’24 said the team has the tools for success but needs to play with confidence in order to capitalize on their team’s high potential.

“I honestly believe we already have everything it takes,” Vaca said. “I think it’s just going to come down to finding our confidence. We already have the dedication, skill, stamina and IQ, but none of those mean anything if we don’t have the confidence to apply it when it really matters.”

Long Beach Wilson and Mater Dei, the two teams the school lost to, are top Division I teams. Jamison said these team’s high rankings made the close margins of the losses more impressive. Jamison said she thinks these games bode well for the rest of the season.

“I’m excited because I think it’s hard to beat the same team two or three times, especially as each team gets better,” Jamison said. “For us, we have girls on the team who are now in a position where they have to perform at a higher level than they did last year, and they have more responsibilities. So I think with a little bit more experience, and as we continue playing, they’ll adjust, and, again, the confidence thing, that’s what’s going to help us win those games. [Long Beach Wilson and Mater Dei] are both completely beatable, and I trust that come January, February, it will be the same.”

Vaca said the three pre-season games exposed the team’s strengths and weaknesses. She said the underwhelming start motivated the team to practice intensely and fix small hiccups.

“Even though it’s still early in our season I think it’s looking really promising,” Vaca said. “Although we didn’t start off the way we wanted to, that doesn’t mean we can’t end the way we want to. I think that we are doing a great job pinpointing our weaknesses and approaching them in the best possible way.”