Swimming down from one end of the pool, looking for the ball, and the right opportunity to put it into the opposing teams net with a bunch of other girls having the same goal in mind. Water Polo isn’t considered the most popular sport, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be argued as one of the most aggressive and intense sports, and that is why the girls on the Niles West Water Polo team love what they do.
After coming off of a rather successful 2019 season, they are looking to kick up the intensity and do even better than before, especially now that a new head coach Matt Block is taking leadership of the team.
“We have a new coaching staff the season with a new head coach, and this is his first year coaching at West. With his help, I hope we can build strong communication in and out of the water. And I’m hoping we get to know the personalities of the girls on the team to make him more comfortable building relationships with us to become a better team in general,” senior Annie Lefler said.
The team will continue to overcome challenges that almost every varsity team faces, but they are ready to push through and make all the hard work pay off.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, so it’s gonna be a little weird not seeing them in the pool this season. But I’m very excited to see some of our new incoming freshman players grow and help contribute to the team,” junior Anna Maris said.
Each of the girls has their own individual along with team goals, and for most, it usually consists of not only becoming a better player but a better teammate and role model on top of that.
“Some of my personal team goals and expectations the season are to have the group become more of a family and to have the girls learn to look out for one another. As to my personal goals, I played defense most of the time, but I’d like to work on my shooting as well this season. Alongside that goal, I personally like to help out as an upperclassman on this team and focus on acting like an older sister/good role model for some of the younger girls,” junior Bea Cronologia said.
The season is just around the corner, and each of the girls is hungry to get back at some of the teams they lost to last year. They are all faced with the same challenges and are looking to make it their best season.
“This season, I’m looking forward to redeeming our team from some close games last season. Particularly against Deerfield, Schaumburg, and Main South. All were games that both teams were evenly matched and skill, but we liked in the numbers. Despite losing some strong starters, I’m excited about the season and going against these teams again,” Cronologia said.