Despite losing its first league game 16-6 to Los Gatos High School, the Paly girls water polo team believes the upcoming season will ultimately be a success.
The team’s season kicked off with the annual St. Francis tournament, where it challenged some of the highest rated competitors in the state, including nationally ranked squads such as St. Francis High School, St. Ignatius High School and Clovis West High School.
The first game of the tournament was a forgettable one, as the Vikings lost 12-1 to Clovis West. Their lone goal was scored by junior Maddy Buecheler. The Vikings then went on to lose 8-6 against St. Francis, with juniors Sabrina Hall and Sophie Frick adding four and three goals each, respectively.
In their subsequent match, the Lady Vikings rebounded and defeated St. Ignatius with a score of 7-6, relying on key defensive contributions from senior Haley Chalmers, who racked up three steals. Hall made powerful contributions on offense along with fellow junior Hollie Chiao, who scored two goals apiece and Frick, who added three goals and an assist.
The team’s recent game on Sept. 8 against Fremont ended on a high note, with the Vikings picking up a blowout 11-3 win.
Their final game was a defensive battle against Menlo-Atherton High School that ultimately ended in a 4-2 loss. Frick and Chalmers each contributed a goal, and senior goalkeeper Joanna Falla had nine saves in a fiery defensive game for the Vikes.
“We are still trying to figure out our team chemistry and the strengths and weaknesses of each player,” junior Alyssa Ibuyan said. “We have a challenging season ahead but we’re very hardworking and very resilient.”
The first league match did not go as planned, ending in a 16-6 loss against Los Gatos to at the start of the season. However, there were some high points. Frick, who had three goals, two assists and a steal, all of which were team highs. Hall also added another two goals, and Chalmers also found the back of the net.
“Although we have lots to improve on, we have tons of talent and this season will be a successful one,” Frick said.