Girls’ water polo season off to a hot start with an undefeated record October 1, 2023 — by Mitchell Chen Photo by Mitchell ChenSenior wing Victoria Le shotblocks against Monta Vista on Sept. 7. The Falcons are in the thick of the race for CCS. After a 15-11 loss during the first scrimmage of the year against Prospect on Aug. 31, the girls’ water polo head coach Mike Allegreti made changes to what plays they would run in future games. That move led to several victories in a row for the Falcons. “We have a lot of potential on the team,” said hole set Ryder Gangemi, a senior captain. “And since many players also play club water polo, the team also has a lot of experience, which translates to our success in the pool.” With a 17-5 victory against Milpitas on Sept. 28, a 10-7 victory against Homestead on Sept. 26, a 13-4 victory against Milpitas on Sept. 21, a 7-4 win against Cupertino on Sept. 19 and a 6-5 victory against Wilcox on Sept. 14, the girls’ water polo team is 8-0 as of Sept. 29. During an away game at Monta Vista, each player was able to score at least one goal due to the preparations done by the team in the offseason to improve their skills, such as ball movement. The leading scorers, senior starter Ryder Gangemi and junior Cassidy Coghlan, are able to quickly organize and communicate plays to the rest of the team. This allows the wing players and new additions such as freshman Riona Coghlan to quickly get back onto defense, assisting junior goalie Lera Poly in protecting the cage. “I think our wins reflect the work and effort everyone put in during summer conditioning, as we are a faster team than most other schools,” Gangemi said. Players such as Cassidy Coghlan have joined water polo clubs after the season such as San Jose Express or West Valley, where they were able to continue to improve their game skills and experience. “Playing water polo outside of school has helped me improve my confidence and awareness in the water and has gotten me more aware with the game so I can take more of a leadership role and help direct the team in games,” Cassidy said. The team hopes to continue their streak of victories and potentially make CCS, which they haven’t done since 2018. Playing their second year with coach Allegreti, the team chemistry has improved since last season, and high morale going into this season has helped their confidence in the pool. “I feel like we are much closer as a team, and we get hyped during games and just go out and have fun together,” Cassidy said. Tags: girls water polo, preview 1 view this weekAbout the contributorsMitchell ChenMitchell Chen, Class of '24, is a Backpage Editor for the 2023-2024 staff. He has written many stories on the school's swim and water polo teams. He has also covered stories on awards and events students have won and led, ranging from a San Jose Sharks scholarship to a student-run modeling show.