Shooting For Success

Both Boys and Girls Water Polo Conclude League Seasons With Victories and Go On to Play in CCS

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At the end of an exceptional season, the girls water polo team is looking back with pride. With a flawless league record and only three games lost before league games, the team was doing very well and was looking forward to the league championships.

“It was kind of interesting because we ended up playing [Los Gatos High School], and we were definitely expecting to play [Palo Alto High School],” senior Carey Wong said. “[They have] always been league [champions] and they’re usually one of the best teams.”

However, there was an upset and Los Gatos beat Palo Alto right before the league championship match.

We thought it was going to be a really dirty game, and none of us really wanted to deal with the violence and all that stuff,” Carey said. “But it turned out it was pretty clean and fair and felt really good, since this is the first time in the school’s history.”

Winning the League title definitely boosted the team’s confidence. The team was optimistic about CCS because they had done well so far, giving them the first seed.

The girls had a bye for the first round of CCS and played Mountain View High School for the second round, winning 13-1.

“I seriously believe that all of our players are amazing,” goalie junior Anna Dilley said. “There are some players [who] are big shooters, some players [who] fast, and some players who can steal the ball really well.”

Although the team was strong this season and was favored to win CCS, they were defeated in an upset by Leland High School in the semi-final match. The team played against Leland earlier this season, cruising to a 12-8 victory.

Even though the boys water polo team has done well this season, they fell to Menlo-Atherton High School in their CCS quarter-final match. Menlo-Atherton won by one point in the last seven seconds of overtime.

One week earlier, the team captured the SCVAL De Anza League Playoffs with a 9-8 overtime win over archrivals Palo Alto, sweet revenge against a team that torment them during the regular season.

“That was really nice,” junior Derek Koehler said. “They’ve been beating us in overtime the who season, so we finally beat them in overtime and we won league championships.”

Coach Ed Samuels was also happy.

“The team we beat have been the perennial league champions and there is an expectation that they’re going to win every year,” Samuels said.

In the NorCal Tournament at the beginning of the season, Palo Alto got to the finals against Sacred Heart, making them the second-ranked team in the area.

“They took second, and so beating them is a really big deal,” Samuels said.

The upset was a great accomplishment for the team.

“I wasn’t surprised because we had all the talent—it was just about putting in the effort,” Derek said. “We played really great.”