Finding Fundamentals in Debut Season

Andrew Choi, Sports Editor

In its inaugural season, the Diamond Bar girls water polo team experienced tough challenges as the team competed against the powerhouse teams like Ayala and Bonita. However, instead of trying to improve its 4-23 overall record, the team focused on establishing the fundamentals of the sport and developing its players.

“It is always tough to come out as a senior and try something new. These girls will always be part of the first ever girls water polo team at DBHS. The coaching staff and the student-athletes understood from the beginning that this was our first season and we would be playing against well-established programs, especially in the Palomares League,” coach Alexander Matal said.

During the season, the coaching staff implemented a system that involved the ball touching each members’ hands. In each game, the Lady Brahmas passed the ball multiple times until the right window opened up.

“We focused on a team oriented offense and defense throughout the season. Everyone unselfishly works throughout the game for the benefit of the team,” Matal said.

Senior co-captain Sierra Sanchez and junior co-captains Jenna Canova and Mia Le took the reins of the team in the beginning of the season and led the Lady Brahmas through any obstacles they faced.

“Our captains worked together to share their vision of the program with their teammates. They held their teammates accountable as well as each other,” Matal said.

Even though the team dealt with many losses, the program did experience a moment that can be carried onto next year. Over winter break, the team finished fourth place in the Silver Division of the First Annual Lady Brahma Winter Classic.

“Winning is not all that matters. It’s about having fun while playing water polo,” sophomore Alison Kim commented.

With the first season of the program coming to an end, there are many areas that the team feels they need to improve in before they become contenders of the Palomares league.

“[In the offseason] we will push the level of intensity during workouts and begin to develop advanced skill sets,” Matal stated.