Water Polo Finishes Bittersweet Season

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Water Polo Finishes Bittersweet Season

David Li ’21

David Li ’21

David Li ’21

As the season comes to a close, the Varsity Water Polo team hopes to end on a high note in its last few matches leading up to Taft Week.
Going into the season having graduated two of its starters last year, the team had to find ways to adjust and integrate new players into the team. Other members have stepped up, playing a balanced game with a neven distribution of scoring among the players.
Captain Leo Poggi ’20 stated, “The new kids are doing great, and the size of the team is very reassuring. They are learning quickly and meshing with the team really well. It is nice to see such a promising future for the team in my Senior year.”
The future may look promising, but the current season has been very successful in its own right. Coming off of a 2-11 season and starting this season with an 0-5 record, many assumed that this season would be reminiscent of the past, in which the team was averaging fewer than three wins per season.
However, the team bounced back with wins against both Westminster and Williston, the only two teams they had beaten the previous year. Their next game was a challenge, facing conference foe Deerfield, who had beaten Hotchkiss by a comfortable margin in the past four years.
It was clear that the past didn’t shake the team’s confidence, and it went on to trounce Deerfield 12-5 en route to its third straight win, the longest winning streak in the past five years.
In the following games, the boys game a great effort, and were rwarded with strong results as they beat Choate, Westminster and Hopkins. The Westminster game was a particular highlight, as the team won by a 12 goal margin, the largest in a decade.
The team has also come its closest to making playoffs since 2005. Unfortunately, the players were unable to defeat Suffield, although they fought hard in a tough match that ended in a close 12-10 loss.
Although the team did not achieve its goal of making New England’s, it has made significant progress that is sure to carry over into future seasons. Although they fell short, this will continue to be a driving force for their team, and propel them to new heights in 2020.
In the upcoming season, the coaches hope to recruit female players. Coach Carita Gardiner said, “Next season, I hope we’ll have better luck becoming co-ed. It would be great for us to have more players of any gender to get our numbers up. If we could schedule more JV games/scrimmages, our newer players would get more game experience before they become team leaders.”
The team had a strong finish to their season with a win in their last game against Hopkins. finishing with a record of 6-8. Many of the players will transition into the winter season this coming week, as the swim team begins to hold practice, a sport most of the players will participate in.