After a devastating loss in the CCS semi-finals last November, the Paly Girls Water Polo team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming season.
The team lost eight seniors, five of whom were starters, however they will not let it get in the way of their success this season.
“We are really going to have to work hard to make up for the loss. But I’m super excited about the amazing fresh new talent coming in to the Varsity team,” said Estelle Martin (‘19).
Following a 10-19 season, the team entered CCS as a wild card for the second year in a row. They were led by a strong foundation of seniors who were able to act as mentors, propelling them into the semi-finals. This season the team is down to 4 seniors meaning the returners and the new additions will have to step it up in order to fill the missing positions.
“It will be a little tough in the beginning but everyone is so hard working and hungry for victory so I think we will do just fine!,” said goalie Esme Stotland (‘19).
A key returning player on the team is Junior Chesnie Cheung (‘20), who has been a starter on varsity since freshman year. Cheung is among the players who the team is counting on to fill the leadership void.
“This year we hope to bring our team back even though we had lost so many of our starters. Most of our varsity players have played club over the summer but are still relatively new to the game due to them learning the game freshman year,” said Cheung.
From the looks of it the lady Vikes have a tall task ahead of them in order to live up to previous teams, but there is no challenge Paly athletes will shy away from.
“We have a talented group that has been killing themselves to build their polo fitness and come together as a team during the first few weeks of practice…we’re excited to see how far we can go,” said coach Doug Stotland.
There are many new talents joining the team including Hana Erickson, Lulu Gaither, Sophie Khadifa, Maya Rathore, and Ellie Walsh. With less than half of last year’s team returning, the ability to gel quickly will play a big role in their success. With a lot of hard work and team effort, we can see the team making it to CCS again this season!