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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Girls water polo’s historic campaign comes to a close

Jennifer Godwin-Minto

This season, the Poly girls water polo team ruled the pool with their impressive 9-0 league record, but their season ended with a dismal loss in the CIF playoffs. However, as this year’s Prep League Champions, the team proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the waters of the Poly Aquatics Center.

Head coach Sean Grab stated, “Our goal every season is to play our best game on our last day… We are more concerned with how we are playing the game rather than the result. The idea is that if we play “Poly” water polo and combine that with hard work and development throughout the season, it will result in a positive outcome.”

The Panthers’ final game, which also was senior night, was against formidable Redondo Union. Freshman Danica Hua noted, “Poly put up a good fight. Our team dealt with it really well. Especially our upperclassmen, it was the seniors’ last game. They showed true leadership and sportsmanship, and the entire team did as well. Despite losing to Redondo, everyone’s spirits were high because we knew we did our best and put in a lot of work, so I wouldn’t consider it as a loss. Not just for this game, but for the others too.”

The game ended with a 14-4 loss in heavy pouring rain. Regarding the difficulty of playing in great downpour, “The rain certainly made it harder because there was steam coming up from the pool. It was also hard to communicate over all the water coming down,” said Hua.

The team’s overall success can be attributed to several factors, including their strong defense, good shot selection from perimeter shooters on offense, and guidance from more experienced players. However, according to senior co-captain Natalie Vincent, the team’s biggest weakness was player inexperience. “Water polo is a sport that requires good situational awareness, a skill that comes with experience,” said Vincent.

Despite their shortcomings, the team performed exceptionally well in their other games. They dominated Westridge with a final score of 15-1, and defeated Flintridge Preparatory with a score of 13-8, proving their quality offense.

Freshman Samantha Golden said, “I think our team has been finally figuring out how to play better defense against teams and also a better front court on offense. For example, our Flintridge Prep game was one of our best games, which was about two weeks ago. It was when we finally pulled our defense together and kept the same pace and energy throughout the whole game.”

Grab also shared his views on the team’s more recent games: “We are learning to play with each other and have a collective understanding of what it means to play our brand of water polo. The girls have stepped up their intensity and level of play.”

With their impressive record and championship title, the girls water polo team’s success in ruling the pool is a testament to their hard work, dedication and teamwork. Despite facing challenges like player inexperience, the team managed to rely on their strengths and learn from their weaknesses to come out on top. They were clearly a formidable presence in the Prep League. Even though they lost their chance at a CIF championship, the team’s future looks bright.

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Jemma Yuan, Student contributor
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