Boys Water Polo
Coming off a quarterfinal CCS finish last season, boys water polo will be returning to the pool as a much different team, with both coaching and roster changes. Switch-ups in the team have also proven to be a characterizing dynamic going into the season. The team lost its top three scorers from last season after graduation in Sam Lisbonne, Jordan Stout and Ryan Seltzer, respectively, leaving the team with big shoes to fill. These shoes will likely be filled by the host of returning seniors, among which include Bryan Kim, Sean Nguyen, Joshua Santos, Montana Goloubef, Cameron Hayes and Dane Grosvenor.
“We graduated a lot of talent this past year, but I know that our incoming seniors will do a great job leading this team,” head coach Seth Tasman said. “Our goal is to be top four in our league and qualify in CCS. We have about 15 incoming freshman boys and our program is expanding quickly.”
Big changes are also happening for the Eagles at the goalie position. Senior Dane Grosvenor, who was expected to play as Los Altos’ starting goalie, has been training to become a field player after suffering complications with concussions from years of taking hits to the head. Sophomore Vishnu Ram, last year’s JV goalie, will likely be taking over as starting goalie for the Eagles.
“To be a goalie as a sophomore…I am certainly a bit scared about it because the shots from the field players are much faster and harder to reach,” Vishnu said. “But there is also a part of me that is excited to play at a high level at a young age. It will be hard to transition to varsity at first, but I think that once I get used to the shots, my job will be much easier.”
Though the team has been significantly reshaped, a number of its players come into the season having played together over the summer for NorCal Aquatics, Tasman’s club water polo program.
“It’s important to play club so that you get to know your teammates,” Bryan said. “You can’t play as a team if you don’t know what each of your teammates are going to do.”
As the team heads into the season, Tasman has already identified what he believes to be the keys to success for the team.
“We will have to be a fast team to be effective in our league, the De Anza Division of the SCVAL. We have many of the top swimming and water polo programs in this area. Speed and smart game sense will be key.”
The Eagles play their first game away against Gunn on Tuesday, September 16 at 4:45 p.m.
Girls Water Polo
Girls water polo returns to the fall season as a revamped team. The team’s loss of key senior players Kimberlyn Tilley, Jenna Gavenman and Casey Vanneman looks to be one of the Eagles’ biggest challenges.
“The team graduated three seniors who were crucial to the team, which is looking like our biggest challenge this year,” senior Ya’el Weiner said. “Since they were our main goal-scorers, the team has beewn working all summer on creating new offensive plays and improving our shooting.”
A young team with little experience is another obstacle the Eagles will have to overcome in the coming season.
“We have a lot of incoming freshmen and JV [players] moving up to varsity,” Romy said. “They aren’t used to the varsity teams so adjusting will be an obstacle.”
The slew of incoming underclassmen, while inexperienced in high school play, also look to be the team’s biggest asset.
“I think we have a pretty solid team going into this season,” Ya’el said. “We have more numbers than I think we’ve had in years and everyone coming out this fall, even the incoming freshmen, has been practicing all year and are ready to take on the high school season.”
Fortunately, a number of returning players and new players have also been playing for boys varsity coach Seth Tasman’s club team, NorCal Aquatics, over the summer, ensuring a degree of cohesiveness and familiarity.
“Since we all played on the same club team with the same coaches we really bonded that way,” Romy said. “A key aspect to a strong team is being able to work together which we are slowly doing. This summer really gave us a leg up on that, high school season won’t be much different.”
Going into the season, new head coach Katie Buzzetta already has a game-plan.
“[We need to] mainly focus on defense because defense wins games,” Buzzetta said. “Its not about having an abundance of shooters, but being able to play all four quarters and consistently challenge them.”
Though challenges lie ahead in compensating for graduating players and a lack of experience, the team remains optimistic for the season ahead.
“We have a great shot at placing high in our league this year, maybe even qualifying for CCS,” Ya’el said. “We may be a young team, but there is a lot of talent regardless.”
Girls water polo’s first league game is against Gunn on Friday, September 16 at 6:45 p.m.