Girls’ Waterpolo hopes to bounce back after string of losses

October 29, 2019 — by Apurva Chakravarthy

With the changes and the loss of key players to graduation last spring and new coach who is trying to teach the sport to inexperienced plays, the girls’ water polo team has struggled to adjust playing in the upper league this year. 

New head coach Melissa Hesselgrave has chosen to focus more on the fundamentals than plays, a shift from the strategies of last season when the team was in the lower division and had a far more experienced team.

The team has gone 0-11 in their season so far, but played well in a recent tournament. 

On Oct. 12-13, the team played in the Tessa Joy tournament against teams like Los Gatos, Los Altos and Archbishop Mitty. They won three games and lost one but worked together very well.

The team also faced Homestead on Oct. 22 and came out winning  and Los Altos for their senior night on Oct. 24, losing to the Eagles 2-14.

Junior hole set and utility player Morgan Bruun-Jensen was out for two weeks with a shoulder injury that recurred from her freshman year. Offensive player senior Julia Yoo and set defense player senior Thaila Morgenstern have also been sick, causing the team to lack many of their key players during recent games.

Some underclassmen freshmen on the varsity team “don’t understand the game as much as the other girls,” according to junior hole set Grace Stuart. 

The team has also struggled with fundamentals as they adjust to the new members, so they have found it harder to keep up their energy and endurance during games. They are focusing on improving their passing, protecting the ball and making good shots in games.

“There will be a lot of hard games coming up in the season, and the girls’ main focus is to play to the best of their abilities,” Stuart said.

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At UC Berkeley, PhD student Abrar Abidi and research assistant Yvonne Hao have embarked on a goal of creating hand sanitizer for the Bay Area's most vulnerable populations, including the homeless and the incarcerated. Their hand sanitizer includes glycerol mixed with other products, in accordance with a formula from the World Health Organization. So far, they are producing 120 hundreds of gallons of sanitizer each week. Photo courtesy of Roxanne Makasdjian with UC Berkeley.

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