AOTM: Ashley Yoo

The DB Senior joined water polo to avoid PE, but is now one of the school’s all-time leading scorers.



Senior Ashley Yoo was the leading scorer for the 2017 CIF Finals team.

Ingrid Chan, Asst. Photo Editor

When Diamond Bar High School senior Ashley Yoo initially joined the girl’s water polo team as a means to pass time during first semester of her freshman year, she never expected it would become the center of her high school years. At the time, she never even would have imagined that she would later be named Player of the Year by the San Gabriel Tribune.

As a freshman, she first joined Diamond Bar High School’s track team with the intention of running all four years. However, track was a spring sport, and Yoo was a freshman, which meant she would have to be placed in a PE class during the fall season. Yoo had no plans to whittle away her time in a normal PE class, so she decided to join a fall sport — water polo. Little did she know how much it would change her life.

With no prior experience, Yoo began her water polo journey on the junior varsity team. But it wasn’t long before she improved and climbed up the ranks. Not only did she practice with the school team for four hours every day during season, but she also practiced in clubs over the summer and after their winter season.

 She especially devoted herself to the sport during the summer before her sophomore year, waking up at five every morning just for swim practice at six then followed by games with the DBHS team. To top it all off, she even had night practice with her club team as well.

“Basically, my entire day would be filled with water polo,” Yoo said. “Even now, I feel like my entire high school experience has been centered around water polo, especially since most of my closest friends are also on the team.”

Her efforts more than paid off, as she became part of the varsity team during her sophomore year. Last year, Yoo was voted by her teammates as one of the three varsity captains. This year, Yoo is not a captain because the team eliminated the positions.

After sophomore year, she came to the realization that she enjoyed swimming and working with her teammates more than track.

“Track is a very individual-centered sport, which some people like,” Yoo said. “But in track, we don’t really work together for much — not in the way everyone in water polo strives towards a single goal. So I decided to quit track in order to focus my complete attention on water polo starting junior year.”

Yoo’s title of Player of the Year is well deserved. She led the team with 125 goals last season, and was far ahead of the other girls with 175 points. She also carried out 50 assists and 38 steals.

Though she loves water polo with a passion, she wants to go into medical school, so she does not plan to continue water polo in college.
She does want to continue playing it recreationally and get together with her teammates when she can.

The girl’s water polo team also participated in CIF for the very first time last year and made it  to the finals. For Yoo, it was an unforgettable experience.

She hopes the team will get another opportunity in the CIF Playoffs this year.