Girls’ Water Polo Hits The Water Swimming
Alicia Lourekas, Staff Writer
May 25, 2012 • 148 views
Filed under Sports
An increased interest and more players have lead to the creation of girls’ team that has been two years in the making.
“It feels good to have an all girls team, because we’re not being overshadowed by the boys,” Alex Greene ’13 said.“Now it’s our time to shine as a new team,” Greene said
The girls’ water polo team has been slowly phasing out the boys as teammates for the past couple years and 2012 marks the first time they have played a full season without boys.
“This season there are more girls than ever who tried out, so in order to make sure that the pool isn’t too crowded we’ve made it an all girls team,” captain Gabby Wimer ’12 said.
Coach Michael Laux started the co-ed team for girls swim team members to get in shape for swim season. There was a lack of interest from girls and therefore they decided to let boys join so they could field a team.
Now with more girls, the team is officially an all-girls team that competes and practices without any boys. Last year about 80 percent of the games were without any boys.
“It is a significant change, boys wouldn’t pass to girls so there was no improvement,” Laux said. “By becoming an all- girls team the girls have become better players.”
This improvement was proven last year with the team’s first win over Hopkins. They have increased their technical skills in shooting and throwing and were able to beat a highly competitive team.
The transition to an all-girls team has been significant. Boys and girls water polo teams, according to coaches, have two different styles of play.
“Girls don’t throw as hard, and boys are more aggressive when it comes to passing and shooting,” Laux said.
Although the guys played a large role during practices, playing with only girls has been beneficial for both improvements in teamwork and technical aspects.
“I think a lack of guys has helped the girls mesh together in the pool a bit better in terms of working as a team and communicating,” captain Sarah Cooperman ’13 said.
The progression away from a co-ed team has been slow, but has been a much needed change. It was a rough transition as first, but the team has adapted and to the physical and coaching changes.
“There is a difference in coaching styles for boys. It’s more of a focus on strength and for girls you need a softer touch,” alumni Stephanie Nussbaum ‘11 said.
In the same respect a lot of the girls would rely on the boys’ strength during games and practices. This resulted in little improvement from the girls, as well as a lack of cohesion within the team.
“We relied on the guys to do better and it was tough to get away from that,” alumni Elizabeth Rubel ‘10 said.
Girls’ water polo has beaten one team, Greenwich Aquatics, this season. The players are still optimistic because they have seen vast improvements from every player. This was shown in the last match against Choate, the closest Staples has ever come to beating them, with a final score of 6-10. “I think that we’re really starting to gel as a team and finding that cohesion that’s so important in team sports,” Wimer said.
This years’ team is a young team of freshmen and sophomores that make up a team of 30, where only 14 are needed during a game. The coaches feel that the team has enough interest for them to improve at a level to be competitive for the next couple of years.
“Not having a co-ed team is good for the future of girls’ water polo, because we are able to train the girls better” Laux said.