Ava Seccuro staff writer
Due to a malfunction in the swim gym pool heater, on Oct. 30, the girls varsity and junior varsity water polo teams have had to shift their practices from doing scrimmages in the pool and swimming laps to doing dry land conditioning.
According to Athletic Director Tim Ellis, the heater began experiencing issues two weeks ago. The heater has been inspected by maintenance, who have concluded the machine is irreparable; a new heater is being ordered. Since the pool is normally at a temperature of 80 degrees and allegedly sustains heat well, the players were able to swim for two days after hearing the news of the broken heater. Due to the dropping temperature of the pool, the players are now practicing their skills on dry land.
According to Eghbali, The maintenance staff is planning on having the pool functioning again in about two weeks, depending on how long it will take for the new heater to arrive and for the pool to heat up.
“Rather than buying, installing and [letting] the pool heat up, [which will take three weeks], [maintenance] said they may be able to [replace] it one week earlier,” coach Shadi Eghbali said. “So, we are counting on two weeks but it will still take time, and we are at the beginning of the season.”
Despite Eghbali’s efforts to keep the team active, the dry land conditioning is unlike the type of practice required to succeed for the coming season.
“It’s definitely going to be worse for our season because there is nothing like being in the water,” junior Rebecca Harooni said. “It’s very different and standing is going to make a dramatic difference because we can’t duplicate [our practices] outside of the water.”
Complications with the pool have been a recurring issue for the past two years. After experiencing firsthand the results of swim gym pool malfunction in the past years, members of the team began recognizing that this season might repeat the predicaments of seasons prior.
“This will affect us a lot as a team because we can’t practice, and it’s frustrating that the pool is broken [almost] every year for us,” senior captain Jean Park said.
With a large influx of new players from the freshmen class, Eghbali is worried that their lack of game experience and the overall lack of time to prepare will hinder the progress of the team, and cut short the potential that the new players possess.
“I have 18 freshmen. [Two to three weeks before our first game], they usually [have already] learned what to do. But without a pool, there is no way that we can practice, and there is no way that they can have a good experience of water polo,” Eghbali said. “We are a little bit behind schedule but I’m hoping as soon as the pool gets [fixed], we get into the water and work a little.”
With a pessimistic attitude circulating through the entire team, time is the only way to indicate what the future of the season will be.
“I think a lot of us are just expecting another poor season because of this. Even though we have a big junior varsity team, and from the week of swimming we did have we saw potential, I don’t think we will be able to grow on that,” Harooni said. “Our first game is in a week and we don’t even have a pool to practice in. Our coaches are trying to get us to Culver City. They’ll bus us over every day, but we just have to see.”