Women’s water polo off to a great start


Coach Adalberto Vasquez

The 2022 Mesa Women’s Water Polo team gathers for a team photo.

Alysse Dodge, Social Media & Photo Editor Editor

The San Diego Mesa women’s water polo team is off to a great start this season, with an overall record of eight wins and only two losses.

The Olympians train extremely hard both in and out of the water and their scores are definitely reflecting this training. Some weeks consist of nine practices–five water polo practices, two morning swim practices, and two conditioning practices. Lily Barraza, center forward #19, tells The Mesa Press that the schedule can feel crazy sometimes, but they all know that they have to put in the work and get it done if they want to win. 

Unfortunately, the team experienced their first two losses of the season at the West Valley Invitational tournament last weekend against San Joaquin Delta and West Valley. Barraza states that these losses were upsetting but they are “out of the way now and we get to focus on what is coming up.”

In an interview with The Mesa Press, Coach Adalberto Vasquez expresses that this is the “first year the team is doing so well.” Vasquez believes that this is because of the high enrollment this season. In fact, he states that the team’s biggest strength this year is the large roster size. He further explains that “good numbers lead to good practices.” With a roster of 19, the team is able to practice in a way they never have been able to before. The team is no longer limited to drills; this year they can practice full-court, game-like situations. 

Over the past couple of years, Coach Vasquez has been strongly focusing on recruiting. He has been putting in the effort to make sure the recruits feel wanted and appreciated. Vasquez does so by showing up to more of their games and prioritizing consistent communication. This is now his fourth year as the head coach and he has noticed that his “more hands-on” recruiting approach is paying off. He strongly believes that the large and talented team roster this season is a result of the intense recruitment. 

Torrey Brindell, attacker #3, describes the team as a sisterhood. She further explains that everyone can learn something from one another. Specifically, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and they are able to come together and help each other out. Barraza agrees that this is extremely important and is a major factor of their success.

Going into the next two-thirds of the season, Vasquez states that attendance at practice needs to stay consistent if they want to reach their goals. He shares that the team’s realistic goal this season is to make it to the conference championship game. However, they have dreams to go beyond the Conference Championship. The team hopes to receive the automatic bid to SoCal Regionals and compete in the State Championships.

Barraza, Brindell, and Vasquez all emphasize the importance of the school’s support. Barraza states, “our team definitely runs off of spectators and energy.” Conference games begin on Oct. 5, 2022, against Southwestern. Vasquez says that if there was one game for the school to support it would be the grudge match against Grossmont on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. at home.