Girls’ water polo swims to the top

While the start of the cool fall weather means the end of pool days for most people, that has not stopped Girls’ Water polo from diving headfirst, both physically and figuratively, into their new, and surely successful, season.

Cooper Eskigian, senior, enjoys being in the water whether she is playing water polo, surfing or swimming. With Eskigian’s comfortability in the water, she is able to translate her skills from each individual sport to her games. “My favorite thing about playing the game is being able to apply what I’ve learned in practice to the game, and see that improvement [I’ve] been looking for,” Eskigian said. 

For Eskigian, being part of the team has not only encouraged her to play to her fullest, but to create a community with her teammates. “I love the comradery you experience with all your teammates and coaches,” Eskigian said. “This year our team is much smaller and I’ve felt a special bond between everyone on the team that I haven’t felt in past years.”

Though she is new to coaching the girl’s water polo team, Lauren Tuxill, NPHS alum, has effectively been getting the team prepared for the upcoming season through unique training techniques. “We’ve been focusing a lot on fundamentals so far, so just the overall skills of each player. We do a lot of individual work and small group work that really helps. Mainly that, we don’t really repeat drills at a lot of practices. We like to mix it up over here,” Tuxill said.

Ariana Flores, senior, has been playing water polo since sixth grade and has been part of the NPHS team since freshman year. As a center defender, Flores values skills such as speed, resistance and most importantly, competition. “I love the competitive aspects of a game and being so motivated not only to win, but to play your heart out,” Flores said. She expresses how being part of a team has encouraged her to play her best and give it her all. “I love my team and teammates and it’s such a crucial part of any sport and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful team my senior year,” Flores said. 

The water polo team has prepared for the start of their upcoming season by commencing preseason and summer practices. “[Nov. 6-9] is our first official week of practice, but we have come so far since summer practices and preseason,” Flores said. Their first game was against Notre Dame on Nov. 15th and encouraged the players to work hard on their first official week back at practice.

As the girls’ water polo team prepares for their winter season, senior players are eager to see their new teammates perform and spend their last season with their friends. “I’m looking forward to seeing how our new players will adapt to the game and how they will improve throughout the season,” Eskigian said. “I’m also looking forward to enjoying my senior season with all my best friends.”