Audrey Park, staff writer
In their first tournament of the season, girls water polo placed third in the Western JV Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 7. The tournament consisted of four games, two rounds against Savanna and Lakewood on Friday, and two rounds against Santa Monica and Kennedy on Saturday.
The team felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement as it prepared to compete in its first tournament of the season.
“Before the first game I was a bit nervous because it was my first game since last year so I didn’t know what to expect,” team captain Ivana Zelalic said. “The game was a bit of a challenge at the beginning, but once we got more focused, it [went] well and we [scored] more and more.”
After winning the first two games, senior Allison Klemes was surprised by the team’s performance.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but when the girls and I played we were getting goal after goal,” Klemes said. “We really improved from last year.”
Although the girls lost in their third game against Santa Monica, sophomore Maggie Curtis believes that the loss helped encourage the team to improve its performance against Kennedy.
“Our loss to Santa Monica gave us more motivation to win against Kennedy, and we did,” Curtis said. “I became more focused on helping the team in any way that I [could].”
During the last match, the team members were concentrated on winning the game. The last tournament they won was three years ago, and winning the last match would guarantee them third place.
“For the first three games I kept telling myself that I should have fun and whatever happens, happens,” Klemes said. “During the fourth game, I was in the zone. I told myself to just score. The only thing on my mind was to win this last game.”
Zelalic is proud of the team’s victory and believes that the outcome was a good indicator of the team’s potential for this season.
“When the game was over I felt a relief because we won. I was really happy and full of excitement,” Zelalic said. “This game affected me in a good way because it showed me that our team this year will have a great season and I’m really happy to be part of this team.”
Klemes, who will be graduating this spring, hopes to make the “best of her last season playing her favorite sport.” Klemes believes that an important trait for athletes to have is to “never get cocky,” and instead, always “pretend that the score is at 0-0.”
“My goals for the season is to have fun and to win,” Klemes said. “Yes, it’s a generic answer but to be honest having fun is the most important thing for me.”
Girls water polo will next participate in the Estancia JV Tournament on Monday, Dec. 9.