By Emma Flemming ‘22
Big Red Sports Network Reporter Emma Fleming ‘22 recently sat down with girls’ varsity water polo co-captains Juliette Peel ‘22 and Aria Sangha '22 to find out a little more about the team and season ahead.
Emma Fleming: How long have you been playing water polo and how did you first get involved?
Aria Sangha: I started water polo as a freshman, I just remember one of my prefects freshman year was the captain of the swim team at the time, and she told me a lot of swimmers tend to do water polo as their fall sport. I actually didn’t even know what water polo was as a freshman, and that's also when I met [Fifth Former] Nicole Cheng who is another senior on water polo and was a fellow swimmer, so we decided to try it together.
Juliette Peel: I also started my freshman year. One of my great friends who swam on my club team happened to be the captain of the water polo team here and told me all about it. My older sister also played out of boarding school so I knew about it, but had never played so I went in with the same mindset of because I’m a swimmer I’ll give it a try.
EF: What are some short term goals you have for the rest of the season?
AS: Given that most of our team is pretty new to water polo, in just the first couple games and tournament this past weekend the girls have improved so much since last year when we didn’t even have a season. One of my goals for the team is probably to make sure all the girls know what they're doing, how to put the skills they learn to use, and just have fun out there.
EF: What strengths do you see in yourself and the team?
JP: Being a strong swimmer is the foundation of water polo, and everything else just comes easier if you have that endurance. A lot of our team members are swimmers, so they have this foundation built and they are just listening and trying to absorb everything us as captains and the coaches have to say in order for them to grow as players and they’re doing a really great job.
EF: What was the outcome of the Beast of the East tournament? What did the team do well?
AS: I think we played pretty well, we won two and lost two. The tournament was only our third and fourth games as a team, and for some girls it was their first game ever. Given that some girls have really had no game experience at all, the fact that we won even two games was really great, and I’m so proud of everyone for how they played and worked as a team given that most of our team is very new to the sport.
EF: What is the team looking to work on leading up to the next game?
JP: I would say understanding the game. I think we are looking to grow our knowledge in the sport and increase our technical skills. We are strong with endurance and swimming, but sharpening those technical skills would really put it all together. The girls are super eager to learn and correct their mistakes, which is something that really helps as we train and put together those technical skills.
EF: Do you have a pre-game routine?
JP: Yes! We listen to “Drowning” by A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. It was started by Camille Trench’23, we just kind of blast that and all sing to it. It really just gets us in the mood and focused. The title of the song is obviously ironic for our sport but it kind of just gets us in the zone to play.
EF: What is your favorite part of the water polo season?
AS: I think the team aspect is great, this year especially we are all super close with each other. We are a really tight knit team, more like one giant family. I have seen no split with age gap or anything, everyone is helping each other and determined to get better for the love of the sport. Everyone is just so happy to have a season, and get to play the sport we love.
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