The Palo Alto High School girls’ water polo team (10-6, 5-4) lost to Gunn High School (7-4, 5-2, 4-3) despite a strong fourth quarter performance by the Vikings on Thursday at Gunn.
Both teams endured a strong fight up until the end. The Titans scored three goals in the first quarter, creating an uphill battle for the Vikings.
With three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Viking senior Katie Francis scored a powerful long shot. The score brought Paly to a one goal differential, 3-4, and gave the players a boost that helped overcome their fatigue.
The Vikings’ push during the last quarter created a lot of opportunities. Junior goalkeeper Joanna Falla initiated a final play by heaving the ball across the pool to junior Haley Chalmers, creating one last opportunity to tie the game. Unfortunately, the shot went too wide.
Vikings head coach Aileen Delaney said that the team played well but made errors.
“We need to get more consistent,” Delaney said. “In the first half we had a lot of up and downs where we needed to be consistent.”
Despite the loss, Chalmers maintained high hopes.
“I think it went really well, even though we lost I think we fought till the end,” Chalmers said. “We brought it back in the last quarter.”
Gunn head coach Mark Hernandez said that the Paly Vikings have a lot of talent, and are well coached.
“Palo Alto is a very good team, they play very tough,” Hernandez said. “We made a few adjustments from last time we played them and it worked out for us.”
This is the second time Paly has played Gunn this season, with the Paly Vikings winning their last meeting, 6-5. The Vikings are set to play in the Western States Tournament this weekend in Modesto.