Girls water polo unfazed by loss of seniors, change in pool

Despite the graduation of seniors Olivia Vort, Olivia Scola, Maddie Kinnaman and Tess van Hulsen and the losses of juniors Clara de Martel, Karen Bowman, Mikaela Simison and sophomore Izzy Kelley, the girls water polo team is upbeat about its upcoming season.  The upperclassman-dominated group will be lead by Coach Aileen Delaney, who has welcomed seven new players to the varsity team.  

“So far, we’ve worked together really well,” junior Molly Weitzman said. “They’re all really talented players.”

Nearby construction on the Big Gym will prevent use of the pool, forcing the team to practice and play home games at the aquatic center located at neighboring high school Gunn.  Members of the team have been ambivalent in regards to the switch, as it will take some time for the players to become acclimated to the differences between the two pools and the commute from one school to the other.  

“The pool is a little different and the court dimensions are a little off,” Weitzman said.  “And we have to take the bus to [Gunn High School] right after school.”

However, the team doesn’t expect to be fazed for too long by the move.  

“I think having home games at Gunn’ll be difficult and weird at first, but we’ll get used to it,” Weitzman said.

Sophomore Sophie Frick expects to have a successful season, citing the abilities of her new teammates.

“There’s a ton of talent on this team this year, so we’re hoping to go far this season,” Frick said.  

After falling in their first game on Friday, September 11, to St. Francis with a final score of 10-3, the team went on to lose their second match, 6-5, against Burlingame in overtime later that day.  Against St. Francis, seniors Alina Drebin, Claire Drebin, and Katie Francis each scored one goal while against Burlingame, senior Gigi Rojahn scored all five goals for Paly.  

On Saturday, September 12, the Lady Vikes went on to beat Menlo-Atherton High by eight points in a 12-4 victory against their neighboring rivals.  Senior Gigi Rojahn scored another five goals while her teammate and fellow senior Katie Francis contributed 4 points in the win.  Sophomore Hollie Chiao added a goal to the Vikings’ tally along with junior Haley Chalmers, who scored two.  

“Alina Drebin had three amazing shots from the top line,” Frick said.  “Los Altos was a great game, definitely really competitive.”  

Shortly after, the team won its match against Los Altos High, seniors Alina Drebin and Gigi Rojahn bringing the team to victory, each scoring three goals. Junior Haley Chalmers and seniors Claire Drebin and Katie Francis each scored one goal for Paly.  

The varsity girls water polo team will play Lynbrook High this Tuesday, September 15, and is expecting a challenging win.  

“As long as we focus on playing our game, we can definitely get our first league win,” Frick said.