Making fundamental improvements

GIRLS WATER POLO In its second season, the team became more competitive, surpassing expecatations and exceeding last year’s record.


Michelle Ki , Feature Editor

Although improvements were made from last year, the girls varsity water polo team experienced yet another tough season. However, with great efforts contributed by both the coaches and players, the team’s overall record improved to a 7-22, compared to last year’s 4-23 record.

But the season was overshadowed by the loss of their beloved assistant coach.

“I think it is safe to say that all of us wish that Coach Alexander Alan Ruiz was still with us,” head coach Alexander Matal said.  “His contributions to the program, staff and student-athletes were far reaching and will forever be ingrained in our program’s history. He will be missed by all of us.”

Unlike last season, the coaches emphasized a better understanding of the fundamental skills needed to be successful.

“The difference between this year and last year, we lost 10 close games by one to four goals, which could have been wins for us,” Matal said.

Some of the key moments this season consisted of the team’s first ever league victory against Glendora and two wins against Ontario after losing to both schools last year. The team also finished 7th in the Nogales Varsity Tournament and 6th in the Varsity Winter Classic.

Senior captains Mia Le, Jenna Canova, and Alyssa Moran took charge, leading the team through any obstacles and challenges they faced. According to Matal, they showed great leadership skills and pushed the team to work hard every day.

To further improve next season, the water polo coaches plan on  increasing the intensity of the workouts and focus more on in-game situations to help the players increase the rate of  success during games. They will continue to focus on the key fundamental skills for new students, while continuing to develop and advance the skill sets of the returning players.

“We have made huge strides to close the gap between the end of last season and this season, but we still have a lot of water polo to learn and room to improvement our current skill sets,” Matal said.

Although the water polo team did not succeed in terms of record, the improvements made from last season are expected to pay off next season.

“This group of young ladies exceeded every expectation and met every challenge that the coaching staff presented them with.  We are playing at a higher level than what anyone would expect from a second year program,” Matal said.