Written by Prachi Kale
With a league record of 7-3 and Central Coast Section (CCS) coming up soon, the girls’ water polo team has started o strong with a 5-4 win in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League finals against Mountain View. “We had a solid start going undefeated in the first half of the season,” senior Georgia Hake wrote in an email. “We then had a really rough second half of the season, suffering three losses. But we are seeded third for league finals and plan on coming out hard.”
To prepare for CCS, the team is working on improving their defense and maintaining high intensity throughout the game. “We plan on maximizing every player’s potential,” Hake wrote. “Our coaches have been stressing that every player can and needs to be a threat.”
Though Hake believes that the team is well-prepared for CCS, she realizes the importance of the team maintaining their focus and keeping its goal in mind. “Last year we didn’t have a good backup plan,” Hake wrote. “Part of being a good player and team is being able to adjust and figure out what works and what doesn’t. We didn’t do a great job of that last year; this year I know more of what I have to do going into it.”
Junior Zoe Banks agrees that a strong mindset will be especially important this year for CCS. “[We need] some heavier mental preparation since we’re going to be playing some teams for a fourth time, which makes it a tough game no matter who it is,” she said. “Our coach Mark Hernandez always talks about the acronym, W.I.N., which stands for What’s Important Now, and I think that’s going to be a big focus for me and my team as we go into CCS.”
Hernandez believes that the team has had a great season overall. “Our philosophy has always been that iron sharpens iron, and I feel like we’re ready to go for the playoffs,” he said. Even if they don’t win CCS, Banks still believes that the girls have done well so far. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole team come together for our last big games of the season and finishing strong,” Banks said.