Second year sport ready for trials

GIRLS WATER POLO: The Lady Brahmas are honing their skills, through both tournaments and hours of practice, in order to improve on last year’s season.

Junior Simar Cheema is ready to make a pass during the St. Joseph game.

Hannah Lee, Asst. News Editor

As the girls water polo team enters its second season in Diamond Bar High School history, it strives to open with an overall improvement and hopes to continue their strong start to the season after winning in their first two preseason games against Chaffey, 8-3, and Nogales, 17-8.

After struggling as a first year team, the players are now using their past experiences to their advantage.
To push toward improvement, the team has been practicing two to three times a week since the start of the school year and recently increased practices to six times a week for three to four hours a day.

Mainly, the players are focusing on improving their passing and shooting abilities, along with body positioning on both offense and defense.

“We want to improve on our overall record from last season, be more competitive with the teams that we played during our inaugural season, and to win our first league game,” head coach Alexander Matal said via email.

The Brahmas sought to play as many offseason games as possible to further improve upon their fundamental skills. Some members played almost all open games in summer programs or clubs, playing up to 50 games between the end of last season and the start of this season.

At the Rancho Bernardo Tournament in December in San Diego, the Lady Brahmas won one of their five games, with a score of 9-8. In addition, the team will also be hosting the 2nd Annual Lady Brahmas Winter Classic on Jan. 15-16, during which 48 teams will be competing.

“[The Rancho Bernardo Tournament] was a really fun experience playing all the teams. It was especially hard playing teams that are by the ocean because they’re typically a lot better at water polo, but it really helped improve us and our expectations for the season,” senior Mia Le said.

Because the team has many new varsity players and only three returning senior varsity members. Jenna Canova, Le, and Alyssa Moran plan to help guide these younger members through the new season with their prior experience and strong leadership.

This year’s team is also focusing on team play and communication due to the addition of rookie players.

“I want to set a good example for them. I encourage them and open myself up to them. If they’re not doing something correctly, I’ll correct them or help them adjust,” Le said.

While the girls have the entire winter break off for games, the team will be back with multiple games in January.

On Jan. 5, the team will face Wilson in the girls’ final preseason game. Then, on Jan. 7, the team will have their first league game at Ayala.