Water polo teams try to repeat last years success

Both girls, boys teams face several ranked competitors


Evie Reinisch ‘23 scans the pool in preparation of a shot on April 27 against Waubonsie Valley High School (Burke/LION)

George Ross, Reporter

Both boys and girls water polo seasons have come to a close. Each team looked to improve upon their respective season from last year, in which both fought to become third place. This season both teams had several ranked opponents wins. Led by multiple seniors on both teams, each respective team strived to become a top team in state.

Girls water polo had high expectations returning this year.. There were several varsity returners from last year including Ava Wright ‘23, Allison Schroder ‘23, and Maya Mladjan ‘25. Varsity head coach Megan Jacobs, who played at LT and Indiana University, has been coaching LT varsity girls water polo for four years. 

“I [enjoyed] seeing the growth [our] team made throughout the season,” Jacobs said. “After practicing together almost everyday for two and a half months, the girls all come in at such different skill levels, and as individual players. It is fun to see them start to communicate more and work together to become more of a team.”

The girls team played defending State Champions Naperville North High School on April 25 at LT, and won 12-9. As well as other regular season games against Fenwick High School, Hinsdale Central High School, and Mother McAuley High School. Highlighting the girls water polo team is University of Michigan commit Emilia Mladjan ‘23 who has been playing water polo for eight years and three years for LT. 

“As our Coach Megan puts it, our goal is to be energizer bunnies, like from the battery commercial,” Mladjan said. “Our biggest rival is Mother McAuley High School. They are our biggest competition in our Sectionals, it’s always an extremely intense game. Naperville North High School or Stevenson High School are also big rivals, they are especially great teams and it’s always a fun, fast-paced, close game.”

The boys team also has several returning members this year, including Louis Grib ‘23, Laine Tegan ‘24, and Sean Gripp ‘23. Led by varsity head coach Douglas Eichstaedt, who has been coaching at LT since 2002. 

“As a team I think one of our biggest goals is to push ourselves both at practice and in games to improve our situational awareness and being able to recognize and react to different in-game scenarios simultaneously as a team,” Tegan said. “We have had quite a few big games scheduled this year mainly in our tournaments as our biggest competitors have been York High School and Stevenson High School, along with New Trier High School.”

Both teams do their own versions of team bonding outside of practice. For the boys, varsity and JV combine their group activities. This is more unique as most teams don’t combine levels for team bonding, Tegan said.

“Two days a week, JV and varsity lift together after practice,” Grib said. “And both are on the roster for games. In addition, the day before any home games, we have a pasta party with the entire team. We also have a few events per season like a team breakfast, or gathering together and having a game day.”

For the girls, team team bonding is different from the boys bonding. These team bonding experiences give the girls an opportunity to reunite and come closer to each other, Mladjan said. 

“When it comes to team bonding I think the most common thing we do is eat,” Mladjan said. “Whether it’s after practice or a game, or even before games, we’re always going out to grab a bite to eat. We like the camaraderie of fueling up before games, or discussing how we played, or just everyday things over large portions of food. Often our go-to is Great American Bagel or the pasta parties the parents help set up.”

This article was last updated on May 11. The girls team finished their regular season with a record of 25-4 and played their State tournament on May 18-20. The boys finished their season with their record being 16-9 and played their State tournament the same weekend as the girls.