Girls’ water polo makes a splash

With a new coach, Chet Hardy, girls’ varsity water polo is ready to make new adjustments and create more memories during this season. Hardy has been coaching for the last five years. “I think when I finished playing [water polo], I thought that I still had some stuff left to contribute to the sport. I just really wanted to coach,” Hardy said.

With tryouts being finished and games starting up in December, Coach Hardy is working hard to ensure a successful season for these girls. “It’s hard. It’s time consuming. But that’s why we do it. Because we love the kids. We love the sport and we love, you know, making a difference as coaches,” Hardy said.

During games, Hardy tries to keep the team morale strong. “[I] just try to be engaged and mentally present if I’m not feeding off that type of energy,” Hardy said. “[I] see what adjustments need to be made, and just kind of making sure everybody is on the same page and working collectively,” Hardy said.

Makayla Owens, senior, grew up constantly in the water and swimming, which is why she feels so comfortable playing water polo. Owens currently plays on the varsity team and enjoys different aspects of practice. “I like the conditioning aspect of it because afterwards it makes me feel good about myself…because I like getting in shape and feeling strong,” Owens said.
While playing different games, she has a lot to think about. “I kind of just make sure I’m set up in the right position so that there’s not a man down,” Owens said. “Just make sure that the people who are important shooters or threats to us are covered.”

While only a sophomore, Adriana Flores plays center defender for the varsity team. Flores especially enjoys preseason due to the different experiences that are not always as available during the regular season. “Preseason is such a great way to get to know your teammates. You get to meet everyone new to the sport and make even better bonds with people you knew from years prior,” Flores said.

Flores also enjoys the strategy aspect of the games. “Awareness is super important and if I realize where everything is I can think of what to do next or anticipate what the other team is going to do,” Flores said. “Like any sport, it’s very time consuming. Sometimes you spend all day or entire weekends at games or tournaments, but it’s all worth it in the end.”
Hardy has high hopes and is ready to grow as a team. “As it is my first season, I’m just excited to see how the team plays together and what kind of chemistry they already have, and then I’m excited to build off that in the years to come,” Hardy said.

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