Girls’ water polo upbeat as they face a challenging season

September 13, 2021 — by Mitchell Chen
Photo by Mina Yeap
Sophomore Ryder Gangemi looks for a clear shot against Milpitus on Sept. 7 at the shs pool

Head Coach: Alex Hsueh (new)

Last year’s record: 14-2

Recap: The unexpected death of coach Jerome Chung before last year made it especially challenging. However, the team ended up winning most of its games.  

Key additions: Freshmen Leena El-Ashmawi, Ava Sadeghi and Cassidy Coghlan, sophomores Medha Ravi and Adeena Kadire 

Key Matchup: Fremont

Star Players: Senior Morgan Bettinger, juniors Fiona Feng and Rosie Kline, sophomore Ryder Gangemi 

Key losses to graduation: Grace Stuart, Grace Green, Morgan Bruun-Jensen and Amanda Andary 

League: El Camino

 

Prognosis: 

The girls’ water polo team kicked off the season with a 6-4 win against Santa Teresa on Aug. 31, a 11-6 loss against Milpitas on Sept. 7 and a 12-1 loss against Fremont on Sept. 9. 

The low numbers on the varsity team have raised concerns: With only 10 players, team members have had to adapt to all positions, and starters have had to play continuously with few breaks.  Achieving the same 14-2 record as last season — where the team only lost two league games — will be a challenge. 

“The team has no established goalie for varsity,” said sophomore Ryder Gangemi. “We often have to switch people out of the goal, especially people that never really trained to be in that position.”

Although there is still a long way to go in the season, the team remains optimistic despite the expected challenges. Junior Hannah Baniani understands that teamwork will play an important role in overcoming these obstacles. 

“Because of our small team, our goal this year is to grow together,” Baniani said. “If we want to win, it will take all of us to be on our best game this year.” 

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