Boys, girls water polo teams advance to state

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Photo Courtesy of Coach Slay

Boys water polo makes it to state for the first time ever.

Lauren Prince, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time ever, both boys and girls water polo teams have advanced to state. Four years ago, the teams had one win, and they’ve turned the entire program into a state qualifier.

“It was exhilarating,” junior Erin Pascual said. “It was our first year to ever make state. When we got out of the pool and realized that we had won and had made it to state, we were just very excited and proud.”

“It was really nice [to make state],” senior William Koelzer said. “[I’ve] been playing for four years now, and [my] first year we won one game, and this year we only lost two games the whole year. It was very nice to feel successful and not go home early from the tournament.”

Koelzer mentioned that most swim team members joined water polo just because it seemed like the right thing to do.

“We kept talking about [water polo] during the swim season and then it rolled around to being water polo season, and we all just started,” Koelzer said. “Coach Slay is really well known in being a water polo coach, so it was kind of just a natural flow of things.”

Pascual agreed with Koelzer about it being the natural flow of things, but she also wanted a new experience.

“I was a swimmer and I thought that if I tried something new maybe I would like the sport better, so it was a new experience,” Pascual said.

Pascual mentioned that the team practices very hard and with a lot of determination, and Koelzer also talked about how much the team practices.

“We practice every day,” Koelzer said. “We practice after school until about 5. We have a club program that a lot of us are a part of, and we practice with them until 7 three days a week.”

Of course, the team does practice differently for big tournaments.

“For the big [tournaments], we have a bunch of small games before it,” junior Ashlan Turner said. “Then, that just gets us ready.”

According to Turner, the teams are preparing for state by playing games with other teams that will be at state before the actual day is upon them.

“We’re playing against teams that are going to be, so that’ll help us get ready,” Turner said.

The state tournament is on May 4-5 in Austin.

“If we have the same mindsight as we had going into regionals, I think we will play even better,” Pascual said. “I’m just really excited to go [to state].”