Girls’ water polo welcomes new players

September 14, 2009 — by Pia Mishra and Emily Williams

The girls’ water polo team isn’t expecting any easy wins this year as they compete in the upper division De Anza League with a brand new roster. The team lost six of its key players from last year: seniors Lauren Opatrny and Megan Nolet as well as graduates Alison Norris, Kaylee Pettengill, Amanda Murabito and Casey Long.

In the offseason they managed to gain a few new faces to fill up some of the holes, but as a result, the team is a fairly new group of people still getting to know each other. This season the Varsity Team will include field players Stephanie Borsum, Courtney Chaffin, Courtney Murabito, Sammi Lotti, McKenzi Crase, Joyee Woodrow, Allison Buchanan, Pia Mishra, Elyse Berlinberg, Corinne Moran, and Sara Knysh as goalie.

“This year is going to be like starting all over again for us,” said senior Stephanie Borsum. “It’s going to be tough.”

Despite the challenges ahead, varsity coach Courtney Crase is expecting a good season and hard work from her team no matter what the outcome is.

“My goals for the girls are for them to have fun, build individual and team sportsmanship and develop their water polo skills,” said Crase.

This year, Crase has decided to put more emphasis on swimming and leg strength exercises to build endurance for the grueling games, especially the games against league rivals Los Gatos and Palo Alto.

In the past few years both teams have consistently beaten Saratoga, but Crase has hope for this season.

“Every year we come closer and closer to beating them which gets the girls really get pumped up,” said Crase. “When they get excited about the opponent, their adrenaline gets going and they come out strong and ready to play.”

At the beginning of the season team had not voted new captains, so Knysh and Borsum stepped up as leaders of the team. They are now the official captains of the team.

“Having good leadership is important to bring the team together in order to play the best we can,” said Knysh.

Despite the challenges ahead, the team is eager to put forth their best efforts this season.

“Win or lose, I just want then to play their hardest and give it everything they have,” said Crase.

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