Women’s water polo suffered a loss to Grossmont College 6-14. This defeat at home on Oct. 30 bookends a particularly rocky regular season. At the start of this season, Coach Beto Vasquez stepped up to lead the women’s team. Last year, Mesa lost it’s “coach of the year” Emma Sasson. Coach Sasson led her team to an 11-0 record last season, so coach Vasquez has some big shoes to fill.
From the start of the game, Grossmont stayed in control. Grossmont opened by winning the sprint for the ball, and quickly parlayed that advantage towards an early goal. Mesa could not get a break, and the first quarter ended 2-7.
The rest of the match was much of the same. Grossmont stayed composed and looked strong for the entirety of the remaining 3 quarters. Meanwhile, the Olympians struggled to keep their heads above water. Grossmont would score a smattering of points, whereas Mesa would primarily earn their points by taking advantage of Grossmont’s penalties. This continued throughout the duration of the game, leaving the final score 6-14.
Coach Beto Vasquez explained some of the challenges he and the team faced his first season as head coach. “This year I don’t know if you can say we’ve been lucky or unlucky, but we’ve played again six of the top 10 teams in the entire state. A lot of that has to do with my ignorance. I had no idea who was good and who was bad, or who was in the middle. So I just kinda picked opponents based off of my friends who were coaches. Next thing you know we’re playing six of the top 10 teams! That was definitely a rookie challenge for me, knowing who to play against, and when to travel and when not to travel. Next year I’ll definitely be more prepared, that way it won’t be so difficult on the team.”
Despite a less than stellar season, coach Vasquez is still optimistic about future seasons, and is proud of all their hard work. “Shoutout to all my first year girls. We have six first year girls that just learned how to play the game in August, and they’re playing against girls who are trying to go to the NCAA, division one level, so they’ve definitely stepped up to the challenge. Shout out to all my freshmen, first year girls. More specifically, I’d really like to give a shout out to our captain, Kathya Argueta. She’s really been doing a great job of leading her team. Also big shout out to our other two captains, Mia Lauer and Katrin Gaines. They’ve been doing a great job of keeping the girls together and staying positive. It’s hard when you’re a brand new team in a powerful conference, when you have to bounce back so many times. So I really want to give my leaders a lot of props for keeping the team together, staying positive, and staying united the entire time.”
Coach Vasquez is looking to make some adjustments for next season, and is excited for the future of Mesa’s women’s water polo team.