Season Preview: Girls’ water polo looks forward to a successful season

    Junior Hollie Chiao passes the ball late in the third quarter during a season game at Gunn High School. The Vikings ended their season after being eliminated from the second round of the Central Coast Section tournament against Leland High School on Nov. 5. Photo: Sam Lee.

    Class of 2018 returning starter Hollie Chiao passes the ball late in the third quarter during an Oct. 4 game at Gunn High School on October 4 of last season. The Vikings ended their season after being eliminated from the second round of the Central Coast Section tournament against Leland High School on Nov. 5. Photo: Sam Lee.

    Back in its home pool for the first time since 2015, the Palo Alto High School girls’ water polo team is looking to use their third-round playoff loss last season as a source of motivation to achieve their team goals this year. 

    Head Coach Doug Stotland is optimistic about the 2017 season for the Vikings, who have won two and lost one game in preseason play.

    “Our top team goals gameplay-wise are to make it to the finals for SCVALs (Santa Clara Valley Athletic League) and crack the top four for CCS (Central Coast Section),” Stotland said.

    In addition, coach Stotland is excited and looking forward to big changes for the Vikings this year.

    This is going to be a huge year for Paly girls water polo,” coach Stotland said. “We’re back in our home pool and we got a huge injection of talent and energy from the 16 players we added, including five of seven varsity starters returning from a team that made CCS quarterfinals.”

    According to returning starter Hollie Chiao, the team is looking forward to building a solid foundation for the team.

    “Although we had four seniors graduate, we have nine [seniors] graduating this year,” Chiao said. “This season, we are looking to make it as far as we can in CCS, but also make sure that we build a solid foundation for years to come since we only have four returning varsity players next year.”

    “It’s super important that we leave behind strong leaders for next season,” Chiao said.

    The beginning of this season also sparks the start of the new event, the Tread-a-thon.

    “One of our goals this year is to bring fans together on Sept. 29 to birth a new tradition with the 1st annual Paly Polo Tread-a-thon,” coach Stotland said.

     According to junior returning-starter Esme Stotland, the Tread-a-thon is a fundraiser event for both the varsity and junior-varsity teams.

    “Our players will tread water as long as they can in a four hour time period,” Esme Stotland said. “We will have sponsors for every 15 minutes of treading and there will be movies and snacks for those participating.” 

    The fourth game this season will be against Mountain View, taking place at 6:45 Sept. 5 in the Peery Family Center on our Paly campus.

     

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