Team dominates deeper waters

GIRLS WATERPOLO The Lady Brahmas start the season 6-1 and finish 4-1 in tournament play.

Senior+Ashley+Yoo+looks+to+pass+in+an+11-3+win+against+Santa+Ana+Valley.

HANNAH LEE

Senior Ashley Yoo looks to pass in an 11-3 win against Santa Ana Valley.

Sophia Kim, Asst. Web Editor

After reaching the CIF Finals for the first time in school history, the Diamond Bar High School girls water polo team was moved up two divisions in the Palomares League. Now in Division 5, the Lady Brahmas are facing tougher competition this season.

Despite the change in opponents, the girls have started their season strong with a record of  6-1.  Winning their first game against Temescal Canyon, the No. 1 team of Division 5 last year, the Lady Brahmas continued to show positive progress with a 4-1  record at the Claremont tournament. However, the girls ultimately placed seventh in the tournament, as their loss to La Quinta by one point lowered their tournament ranking significantly.

“I think we played a lot better than the end score, but we kind of fell apart because we started getting tired,” senior Hannah Murray said. “The first and second quarter were really strong but our offense got a little sloppy, and we weren’t putting as many shots as we should have. It was little minor mistakes that led to major consequences.”

This season, head coach Alexander Matal has been rotating different players through two positions in the starting lineup.

In attempts to prepare the younger players for future games and even out playing time, Matal has been choosing different players based on their progress from practices.

In addition to changing the starting lineup, Murray, once the goalie for the team, has been placed as a utility player to fill in any position needed during games.

Although the entire starting lineup from last year is still on the team, senior Phoebe Tsui stated that communication with new players has been a struggle.

 “I just think we need to be better at communication because it’s just a new group playing together so we don’t really know each other’s [skills] as well,” captain Phoebe Tsui said.

To prepare against tougher teams such as Bonita and Claremont, the girls have been improving their individual skills, honing their passing and shooting. They have also been working in practice with “six on five” drills, focusing on competing with one less player on the field in case of such an incident.

This year, the offense and defense practice routines have become more rigorous, with forwards concentrating on shooting opportunities.

“With the skills and fundamentals we’ve developed, I think it’s going to be a good match game and be really close,” Murray said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully winning against them this year because we haven’t beat Bonita yet.”

The Lady Brahmas had their first league game yesterday against Ayala.