After making it to the Central Coast Section semi-finals during the 2015 season, the Palo Alto High School girls’ water polo team hopes to rebound despite the loss of key players.
The team has turned the loss into a source of motivation, according to junior field-player Sophie Frick.
“The game we lost was one we could’ve won and we really want to redeem ourselves this year,” Frick said. “It’s not how we wanted to finish the season, and getting another chance to make the [CCS] finals is definitely one of our top goals.”
According to senior field player Joanna Falla, the team is hoping to make up for the lost talent with strong team chemistry, despite the return of only four players from the 2015-2016 season.
“During pre-season we focused on playing well together,” Falla said. “We need all our players to really step-up and good chemistry will definitely help.”
Despite the lack of upperclassmen, the new seniors are all experienced players and will take charge in leading the team according to senior field player Haley Chalmers.
“Molly [Weitzman], Isabel [Taggart], Joanna [Falla], and I have all played on the team for multiple years and we learned a lot,” Chalmers said. “Hopefully our experience will help the rest of the team grow.”
With the opening game right around the corner, pool complications continue to affect the team according to Chalmers.
“I think the biggest challenge this year is not having a home pool,” Chalmers said. “We practice at many different locations and even though this is our second year of moving around, it’s hard to get school spirit when your home games are played at Gunn.”
Despite the lack of a home pool, the Vikings hope to come back strong for the CCS title again, according to Frick.
“Coming into this season, we still have a very strong and young roster,” Frick said. “We are definitely capable of reaching the semifinals again and hope to have as good of a season as last year, if not better.”
The girls will be kicking off their season with the first game at 3:45 p.m. Friday at Saint Francis High School.