Girls water polo swims with a fresh start


Marianna Marsden

Freshmen Taylor Onstott (left) and Megan Phillips (right) work hard on womens varsity waterpolo. The varsity team has won seven games and continues to prepare for CIFs.

As they strut out on the pool deck, their surrounding legacy commands attention from all other teams. Their skill and notoriety has earned them the mix of their opponent’s begrudging glares, fearful cowers and revering whispers. Known for their fierce technique and lightning speed,  Carlsbad’s girls water polo team has built quite a reputation over the years.

But this year’s varsity team belongs to a brand new generation.

“Because of how well we did last year, the expectations are really high,” said senior Laura Vasse. “There’s a lot of pressure to continue to be one of the best teams in our league.”

After competing against some of the best teams in the entire nation  over the summer, our lady lancers became the 2013 Gold Bracket Champions in  USA Water Polo’s Junior Olympics. And with two consecutive CIF and league championships under their belt, the pressure is on.

“For the majority of our team’s players, this is their first year playing at a varsity level, so it’s going to take a while to get used to,” senior Nirali Patel said.

With 10 graduating seniors last year, the 2013 season starts off with only 4 varsity members left: Katrina King (12), Malia Magro (12), Laura Vasse (12) and Miya Fukutomi (12). All of the other six members are first time varsity players ranging in grades and years of experience: Nirali Patel (12), Savannah Manley (11), Tessa Greenhalgh (11), Summer Smith (10), Megan Phillips (9) and Taylor Onstott (9).

“The transition to varsity hasn’t been difficult at all, my teammates have really supported me and helped me along the way,” freshman Taylor Onstott said.

Despite their young age, freshman Megan Philips and Taylor Onstott have more than enough experience to bring to the pool. After years of playing for club teams, Onstott and Philips have developed their water polo skills to reach varsity level ability.

“As such a young team, we’re bound to face new difficulties that an older team wouldn’t experience,” sophomore Summer Smith said. “But it’s nothing we can’t handle.”

For this upcoming winter season, the varsity team plans to reclaim their titles as league and CIF Division I champions. Despite their concerns, there is no doubt that our lady lancers will continue their legacy as one of the best high school water polo teams in the San Diego county.

“No matter what, I know that we are strong and dedicated team that will take our challenges with stride,” Vasse said. “We can only get better.”