Photo By Beto Vasquez
The San Diego Mesa College women’s water polo team has been finding ways to keep working and training for their expected season, despite the distancing challenges from coronavirus regulations.
Though the team has not been together in person for a while, come game time Head Coach Beto Vasquez expects his team to be ready. “It is my hope that all the girls on the team come back in January when our preseason starts, and we are all expecting to play. Last year we finished 5th in our conference tournament, and we are looking to improve our standing and win more games this season,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez wants the team to stay focused and train, even if it is individually. He stated, “I have been encouraging the girls to continue training even though we can’t be together. It’s a bit difficult for our sport because not many of them have access to a pool, so we have been watching a bunch of game films to help increase our water polo IQ.”
With the way things are going, the team’s success could go either way. “It’s hard to say if we are prepared to play right now. Preseason practices will be very crucial to help us prepare for the season. As of right now, we only have 10 regular season games scheduled and no tournaments, and it looks like we will only be allowed to play conference opponents. So like I said before, we are aiming to improve our standing from last year and finish in the top 3 in our conference tournament,” noted Vasquez.
The girls have been practicing, even if the circumstances aren’t ideal. Sophomore attacker Nicole Moran said, “I am still playing water polo, every Monday through Thursday. One of the positives from this situation is that we can still practice with our club teams and still be in the water. However, I don’t like that we can’t practice with the team as we normally would.”
“This year it’s harder to hangout and bond with the team than it was last year,” she noted. With that being said, according to Moran, chemistry has not been affected. “I don’t think chemistry is a problem because our coach has weekly Zoom meetings and we get to see each other and talk about the positives of the week, and discuss water polo games. I think the Zoom meetings are something that has connected us a little bit more.”
Sophomore attacker Sera Nagel echoed Moran’s statements. “The girls that played last year have pretty good chemistry because we still talk to each other and see each other during the Zoom meetings. The only problem is that the girls who didn’t play last year and are new still haven’t gotten to know everyone yet,” said Nagel.
She added, “Before I was fortunate to do club water polo, I was just doing workouts at home, as well as leg exercises. Sometimes I would go down to the ocean and swim, but it still wasn’t as much as we would normally do.”
Vasquez noted, “The most important thing right now for all of us is to stay healthy and positive. I know that right now it can be difficult to be both, but we must take it day by day, and hope that things will get better sooner rather than later. If the team and I were able to get together right now, I would tell them that this is the time we have been waiting for, we are back in the pool and playing games.”