The water polo team faced many challenges this season, but no challenge was big enough to deter the team’s confidence. Instead, they take their losses in stride and see a better season on the horizon.
Despite having no home wins, the Brahmas reflected on their strengths and weaknesses. The team attended each match with eight players on the team and had one player on the bench for substitution, which made them to resort to “iron-manning.”
“We don’t have a lot of players on our team, so we have to play every game completely and without any breaks,” Cassidy Hoffman said.
Hoffman said despite the losses and a small team, they did better than what they expected.
“We’ve come a long way from when we first started. We’ve only had a few games, and we’ve done better than we thought we were going to do,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said one of the last games against Ventura Community College was her favorite game of the season because it was competitive.
“It was a night game, and it was a lot of fun. I felt like we were fairly evenly matched, which made for a competitive match,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said that for next season she hopes that more people sign up.
“I hope that we can get some more girls on the team, and I hope that the girls coming back next year, can all grow as a team and as players,” Hoffman said.
Goalie, Hollen Raynor, said the team’s biggest success in her perspective was a previous game against Allan Hancock Community College because it was a close game.
“The score ended up being really close, we felt really good about that,” Raynor said. “The team had put up a strong fight throughout the entire game. “It was really discouraging this season, but that it won’t stop the team from learning from their losses, “It was really a growth season, pushing through as a team is a big thing that we learned.”
Early in the season, players left the team, but that didn’t stop from working together.
“I certainly think we learned how to work as a team when times were tough” she said, the water polo team saw teammates drop out early in the season which reduced the team to eight members, we had just enough girls to compete so we were pushing through when times got tough,” Raynor said.
Raynor said that she saw improvement throughout the season.
“Definitely the first game was much different than the last tournament” she said the team improved their team-building skills, “It wasn’t just better in tactical ways but also communication,” Raynor said.
The team also entered seasonal competition later than other college water polo teams due to repairs in the pool locker room in September, which put water polo at a huge disadvantage.
“Next season is going to be a lot different because we’re going to recruit a lot more girls, so there is going to be more rest time during games and a bigger team,” Raynor said.
Coach Judi Terhar said she is excited to see a comeback next season
“I was exceptionally proud of the girls, the eight that made it through the season worked so hard for us,” Terhar said, “They learned life lessons you could only learn through sports.”
Next season, the team will be welcoming a new head coach. This coach played water polo competitively at Calif. State University Northridge (CSUN) and was one of the top four athletes to ever play at the university. The coach came from Utah on a scholarship as a Division 1 athlete.
Terhar said coaches need to work on recruitment for the next season.
“We need to get strong water polo players in here,” Terhar said.