Girls water polo crushes Hinsdale

Tommy Layden, Assistant sports editor

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Water polo might be the most exciting sport you have never watched, and that is a tragedy. LT has some of the best and most entertaining water polo teams in the state.

“I wish people came [to our games],” Elizabeth Tabisz ‘20, first-year varsity player, said. “I think [they don’t] because people think it’s boring and know nothing about it, but the sport is so fun.”

On April 3, the girls team blasted Hinsdale Central in a 17-6 win at home, and the boys team followed suit with a 10-3 battering. The girls team advanced to 11-3 after that win and is ranked seventh in state, according to illpolo.com, a promising start for a team that lost four starters from the 2018 class.

“We have multiple strong offensive players so it can be hard to work well, we play really well when we use our strengths together,” Hannah Good ‘19, four-year varsity player, said.

All of the additions to the team are focused on preparing themselves for the difference in the speed of play.

“[The new players] are all transitioning from JV to varsity, it’s a very different level, it goes from zero to [100] real quick,” Grace Wantuck ‘20, three-year goalie, said.

The team is working on better communication and trying to continue to play lockdown defense in every game which revolves around a strong team defense.

“We have a really good help on defense from our top line and [the] ability to cover opposing team’s best players,” Olivia Ohm ‘19 said. “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

In preparation for the season, the team has also been conditioning in and out of the pool to help increase the pace of their games. They typically work on outside shooting and on six-on-five situations, when they have the advantage similar to a power play in hockey.

“If they can get shots on goal it makes or breaks a game,” Coach Lauren Burel said. “This team is probably one of the first groups truly there just to play water polo they just love the sport. I feel this team wants to work hard to get better, but they are very composed. We have strong defense [led by] one of the best goalies in the state.”

This past weekend marked the start of the large part of regular season at the Fenwick Invite which has some of the top teams in the state including: Naperville North, Fenwick, and Stevenson. As the team plays more games they continue to build their trust in the pool.

“We have really good chemistry, we all get along in and out of the water,” Wantuck said.

The team plays Oak Park-River Forest High School at home on April 16.

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