Waterpolo player commits to Salem University

After five years of intense high school and club water polo, Diamond Bar High School senior Victoria Madrigal will be taking her game to the next level. In October, Madrigal committed to play for the NCAA Division II Salem University.

Madrigal will be attending Salem University on an athletic scholarship. Prior to her decision, Madrigal considered offers from  Wagner College, University of La Verne, St. Francis University and Iona College. 

“I chose Salem University because of how it felt like home as soon as I stepped on campus,” Madrigal said. “Salem University is a very small private college in the middle of Salem, West Virginia and taking that into consideration I would not only get the attention I need to succeed in the pool but I also have many available resources to help me get my degree and be successful in the classroom.”

Madrigal currently plays with Chino Hills Area Water Polo club, and has been practicing with them since she was in 7th grade. She joined the Diamond Bar High school varsity girls water polo team during her freshman year. Madrigal said that she made varsity her sophomore year. Throughout her time with the DBHS team, Madrigal has received several awards for her athletic performance.

“Freshman year I was named Rookie of the Year, sophomore year I was part of the second team all Mt. Baldy League, and last year as a junior I was a part of the first team all Mt. Baldy League,” Madrigal said.

In her four years of playing water polo for DBHS, Madrigal has 32 career wins, 20 goals scored, 30 assists, and 27 steals. On average, Madrigal makes 1 shot and 5 assists per game. 

Madrigal said  that she attributes her success in the sport to her work ethic and extra practice sessions. She said  that she always pushes herself during practice and makes sure that she is putting in as much work as possible, both in and out of the water. 

“Whenever I don’t have practice I’m always trying to work out or do something physical to help keep me in shape,” Madrigal said. “I also do little exercises that involve a water polo ball outside the pool just to work on tactics.”
Madrigal will be majoring in Administration of Justice–specifically, Criminal Justice. A major factor in her decision to play college water polo was whether her major would allow her enough time to balance being a student athlete. Since she initially planned on majoring in nursing, which is considered one of the most time-consuming majors available, Madrigal was unsure whether she would be able to fit water polo into her schedule in college. This concern was alleviated as soon as she decided to pursue a different major.

“Junior year I ended up taking Chemistry through Forensics and I absolutely loved it,” Madrigal said. “Before the year was over, I knew that I wanted to change my mind and become a Crime Scene Investigator and I can see myself doing that for the rest of my life.”

Madrigal said that at that point, there was no uncertainty remaining as to whether she wanted to pursue college athletics. 

She said that she has already begun communicating with her new team through Instagram and Snapchat, but that they were unable to meet during her campus visit because a student had a positive COVID-19 test. 

Though water polo was hard work, Madrigal stresses the value of having fun. 

“Enjoy the team bondings you have with your team and just the time you’ll have on the pool deck,” Madrigal said. “You will have off days and just take those days as ways to grow as a player and better yourself as a player.”

She also recommends that athletes record their games so that they can review their performance and see what they need to work on.

Overall, Madrigal said  that she is very excited to begin the next chapter of her water polo career. 

“I cannot describe how much love I have for the sport,” Madrigal said. “Yes, there are my off days when I am super stressed and tired, but getting in the pool everyday and working as hard as I can helps me push through those days and gives me something to look forward to.”