Ava Spina staff writer
Due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the first league game of the girls water polo team was canceled after the majority of the players felt it was unsafe to participate. The two following games scheduled for Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 were also canceled.
The team’s match against the South Spartans was scheduled for Jan. 10 at the Swim Gym. Coach Ahmad Hosseini told team captain senior Sienna Wolfe that the game was called off less than two hours before it was supposed to commence.
“Sunday, the day before [the game], one of our players actually tested positive. Me and the coaches were getting emails saying that their parents don’t feel comfortable with them playing,” Wolfe said. “Out of our twelve remaining players, only five players would have been able to get in the water and play.”
Junior Natasha Jadidolahi is concerned about participating in future games with her other teammates.
“Some of the girls didn’t feel safe enough to play in the game since it’s a very on-contact sport,” Jadidolahi said. “We’re face-to-face, grabbing each other, swimming from person to person, and more.”
Junior Natalie Gold was “relieved and disappointed” after learning about the game’s cancellation.
“I knew it was the safer option because it’s such a close contact sport, but I was disappointed because I do love playing water polo,” Gold said. “It was our first home game and I was really excited to have my friends from school be there.”
Wolfe believes the team’s main issue is how few players they have. The team currently has thirteen members and needs at least six players to participate in a game.
“We have a very small team this year,” Wolfe said. “I believe either twelve or thirteen [players], which is the smallest that the team has been in many years, so we barely have enough players for substitutions.”
The team will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines and ensure that the teams they play against do so as well as the season moves forward.
“I feel that the school and CIF regulations are taking good precautions to keep the students safe,” Wolfe said. “Personally, I feel safe playing, but I understand where other parents are coming from.”
The team is currently scheduled to play a home game against the El Segundo Eagles on Jan. 18 at 3:00 p.m.