By Kevin Park
Photo by Brian Kojima
The varsity girls’ water polo team kicked off its season with a strong display of fresh, young talent. Three games into the preseason, the squad has a 2-1 record with wins against El Rancho and Poly, and a loss to Mayfield.
Coming into the match against Mayfield with a 2-0 record, the girls suffered their first loss by a score of 11-9 on December 15. The game challenged the Tigers’ defense as well as exposing new weaknesses that were not noticed in the previous two games. Defensively, the Tigers’ man-to-man coverage seemed to be lacking as the Mayfield Cubs easily snuck past South Pas’ defenders to score wide open goals. The Cubs’ early lead did not faze the girls, overcoming a 6-1 deficit after halftime and slowly pick away at the lead. Although, the Tigers attacks were very disorganized, sophomore Sumiko Rudinsky and freshman Jael Osborne were key contributors to the Tiger comeback, together combining with five goals. Unfortunately, the girls did not have enough to win, but had a great showing of resiliency all the way to the end of the game.
“I think we struggled with our team communication this game and definitely have room for growth,” senior Savannah Pierce said. “The past few games have showed us what we need to work on and it is a sign that we can be successful when season swings into full force.”
The Tigers are full of young talent and the team will benefit from its youthful enthusiasm, but as the game against Mayfield demonstrated, they still lack team chemistry and experience. The first two victories against Polytechnic and El Rancho showcased impressive individual skill with the new freshman and sophomore additions to Varsity.
“I think we all still have a lot to learn together as a team in order to reach our goal in getting far in league. Today we had our first lost but I think that it will help us to grow as team. It will show us what we need to work on for us to grow and become stronger for our next game. We are all trying our best and each girl is contributing their own skills and knowledge to the game and are helping one another to the best of our abilities.” junior Brittney Jarjour said.
Although the Tigers showcased an organized set of offensive plays, the squad hopes to improve defensively in the next upcoming games against Eagle Rock on Thursday, December 17 and Mark Keppel on Tuesday, January 4.