Girls water polo enjoys success

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Aquatic sports at OPRF have been on fire in recent years, and girls water polo is no exception.

“Our No. 1 goal is always to have fun while playing polo,” said varsity head coach Elizabeth Perez. “Of course we want to win and learn the sport more, but it helps if we enjoy the hours we spend together each week.”

Winning is just what the team has been doing as of late. The team recently won the Mundelein High School girls Water Polo Varsity Quad, beating Metea Valley, Mundelein, and Fremd. The team also won the OPRF Varsity Girls Water Polo Invitational after beating Sandburg and Waubonsie.

“Beating Waubonsie would definitely be a highlight of this year,” said defensive captain Cali Weber. “Being able to rematch and beat them in our home tournament felt really good.”

“The girls on the team are such great teammates and we have learned so much together. The season has been great so far,” said offensive leader Rory Cronin.

Perez credits the team’s success to their communication skills and love for the game. “Our communication and enthusiasm for the sport have been our biggest strengths,” she said.“Water polo is intense, fun, and amazing all at once and it takes a special set of players to realize that and embrace it, and we definitely have that combination this year.”

The team’s defense has been very strong this year as well, holding teams such as Mundelein to 3 points and Fremd to 5 points. “Our team is really good at getting steals before the other team can get a chance to shoot,” said Weber.

Perez also praises the team’s leadership. The four co-captains of the team are Cronin, Weber, senior Ashby Steward Nolan, and senior Amelia Morrison. “They are kind, outgoing, hard-working in practice, and they listen and put the team first,” said Perez.

“I have been very impressed by how well they work together and communicate. Even when we have disagreements, we come through stronger,” said Perez.

“The team is always trying to help each other,” said Cronin. “Giving advice and feedback to one another is something that helps advance our team and strength together.”

“We have had some tough games but everyone is definitely improving and learning a lot,” said Weber.

The team has tough games coming up against good teams such as New Trier, and they are excited about the competition that lays ahead. “I am fortunate to have a group of 16 girls and two other coaches who I want to spend my free time with,” said Perez. “I hope that never changes for any of them.”

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