Girls’ water polo came out strongly in their first league game of the season against Torrance High School on Jan. 10, winning 12-4. This victory followed their third place finish at the highly competitive Western Tournament and their new ranking as second in CIF.
The Greenies gained their lead in the first quarter with a score of 2-1 largely due to the strong shooting of seniors Aleya Spielman and Felle Baumgarten. In the next quarter both Samo and Torrance struggled on defense, yet Samo was able to expand their lead through a powerful offense and ended the quarter 6-3. Samo scored another four goals in the third quarter, and prevented Torrance from scoring due to a stronger defensive effort, ending the quarter 10-3. In the final quarter Samo played hard and did not allow Torrance to fight back. The game ended 12-4.
Despite the eight point victory, junior varsity member Jessie Espera felt her team was not at its best, but was grateful to start off league with an easy win.
“Honestly we could have done much better, but a win is a win. We got really nervous because it was our first game,” Espera said. “It’s easier to start up the steps small playing the easier teams first, leaving the hard teams like El Segundo for later on.”
Espera also felt that she and her teammates need to become more accustomed to taking outside shots.
“We need to work on our outside shooting by being more aggressive towards the cage,” Espera said. “I know last year Lauren [Nadel] always wanted to shoot the ball and so now a lot of us are really tending not to shoot the ball.”
Coach Matthew Flanders said that even with such a dominating performance the team will never go in expecting an easy win.
“This team can do basically what ever it wants to do. The girls are starting to realize how good they are,” Flanders said. “We don’t look at any team and say we’re looking past anybody. League is what gets you to CIF, so we need to do our best.”