Palo Alto High School’s girls water polo team has begun to improve after a disappointing season opener, earning seventh place out of 16 teams in the Menlo Varsity Tournament on Sept. 26 and 27 and winning several league games.

The Lady Vikes won their first game in the tournament against Granite Bay High School, with a score of 16-5. They followed this with a loss against Sir Francis Drake High School ending 12-9, despite firing off several shots in the last quarter. The team lost its third game 4-3 against Los Gatos High School, but went on to win the final game of the tournament against Sobrato High School 11-10.

The two wins during this tournament pushed the team up from eleventh place out of 16 when entering the tournament, to seventh place.

On Oct. 2, the team faced Los Altos High School and won with a score of 3-2. Junior Gigi Rojahn scored  dur the third quarter, bringing the score up to 1-1. An eight meter out, cross cage bar goal by junior Alina Drebin followed this, and finally junior Katie Francis scored in the fourth quarter in order to narrowly beat Los Altos.

Drebin expressed her happiness that the team was able to defeat Los Altos.

“We played as a team, and it was really awesome to come out on top since we were the underdogs,” Drebin said.

The team played against rivals Henry M. Gunn High School on Oct. 7, and lost 7-5.

Paly was able to keep a strong defense during the first quarter and the tie was scored 1-1 going into the second quarter. However, during this quarter the team’s defense started to slip, allowing Gunn High School to get in several shots. In the third quarter, the team bounced back and scored several times, bringing the score up to 6-4. Senior Tess van Hulsen was able to score once more during the fourth quarter so the score was 6-5. Gunn however got in one more shot during a six on five while Rojahn was ejected, resulting in the final score of 7-5.

Drebin emphasizes that the team is continuing to work to improve and prepare for games against Los Gatos and Saratoga on Oct. 14 and 16.

“We are focusing on team defense and finishing our shots,” Drebin said. “As well as more movement, because we are pretty stagnant on offense.”

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