Team led by junior captains

GIRLS WATERPOLO With a young starting lineup, the Lady Brahmas look to improve on last year’s losing record.

Junior+Monique+Yim+attempts+to+grab+the+ball+from+her+opponent+in+a+scrimmage+against++Alta+Loma.

Eric Hong

Junior Monique Yim attempts to grab the ball from her opponent in a scrimmage against Alta Loma.

Emily Kim, Feature Editor

Following the boys water polo team’s CIF quarterfinal season ending, the Diamond Bar High School girls water polo team is hoping some of that karma passes to them.

With only two seniors on the varsity team, the Lady Brahmas’ underclassmen will be leading the team. The team’s starting lineup has six juniors and one sophomore, led by junior captains Ashley Yoo, Monique Yim, and Phoebe Tsui.

“We graduated three key seniors, who all the girls respected and looked up to.  It has been difficult to adjust and fill the void, but I believe the team selected three captains that will step up to lead this year’s team,” head coach Alexander Matal said via email.

Key players include juniors Jenny Kim, Tsui, and Yoo. As the top three scorers last season, the girls combined earned a total of 168 points.

“One of the strengths this year is having a high number of returners on all levels,” Matal said. “It allows for the program to grow and establish a pipeline of players to step up after each graduating class.”

Starting their preparation over the summer, the girls competed in as many games as they could. They hoped to gain experience and  strengthen their young team, according to Matal.

Several players also committed to off-season training alongside a club to progress their skills. New member sophomore Kristina Mariani practiced in Croatia and also played in a club over the spring and fall. Juniors Hannah Murray and Yoo competed in the National Junior Olympics.

“We have several players who committed to an off-season training regime in a club environment and those players were able to progress their basic skills and experience to compete at a higher level,” Matal said.

After developing a strong basic skill set foundation in its first two years, the team will move on to learn more advanced team offense and defense schemes, according to Matal.

The team looks to not only improve on last season’s overall record of 7-22 but also to finish in the top three teams for league and move on to CIF. He plans on moving the girls into more tactical practices and focus on defense over winter break before the start of league matches.

The Lady Brahmas won their first game on Nov. 29 against the Montclair Cavs 13-4. They hope to keep the ball rolling in their next match on Dec. 5 against Sierra Vista.