Sports

Co-Captain Kimberly Chang ’08 Athlete of the Week

As the leading scorer for the Girls Water Polo Team, Kimberly Chang has lead the team to the Class A Championship Tournament, contributing her knowledge and skill to one of Andover’s most successful seasons. Q: How did you first get interested in water polo and how did you start playing? A: I have been swimming for as long as I can remember. In middle school, I thought that just swimming was starting to become repetitive so I wanted to try something new. When I found out that my middle school offered water polo and when I went to go sign up, the coach of the team encouraged me to try it out. As it turns out, that coach turned out to be heavily involved with my water polo career, as he offered me the opportunity to play for the prestigious Stanford Water Polo Club. Q: When you were younger, who were the biggest influences on your water polo career? A: As I was developing, my two older sisters really influenced me. They taught me not only how to play the game, but also encouraged me to start playing the sport. My oldest sister didn’t start playing until she came here, so I’ve actually been playing a little longer than her. My second oldest sister, Kelly Chang, graduated last year and had been playing water polo year-round before she came here, just like I did. It was a lot of fun to compete with her when we were younger, and it definitely made me a better player. She also taught me how to be more offensive when I came here. We have also always worn the number seven in the pool. Q: How has being the only player on the team to have played water polo outside of Andover affected your approach to the team? I didn’t really walk into the program thinking I was going to be better than anyone else just because they haven’t played before. Anyone who is on the team is obviously a good swimmer, so people just have to learn the game first. I think that playing before has helped me to influence other people and sort of teach them to play the game. Playing on a good team before here also gave me habits that carried over to how I play at Andover. Q: How would staying at home have affected your water polo career? A: As a culture, California is different because water polo is a very big sport out there. In New England, it’s much different because it isn’t as popular. As a player individually, I think it would’ve been different because I would still be playing year-round. Because I came here and water polo is just a one season sport, I feel like I peaked around eighth grade. It was a good choice to come here though, because I would have been playing with the same girls if I stayed in California, so getting the chance to play with new people has been a great opportunity. Q: Because you aren’t going to play in college, what do you think of these final few games at Andover since they are probably the last in your career? A: I wouldn’t have it end in a different way. The team chemistry this year is absolutely amazing and it has been so much fun. I don’t really see it as the end of my career so much as an end to a great season that I will remember for a long time. We have accomplished so much this season that it has been incredible. For example, winning our game this past Wednesday pushed us into the Class A tournament, something that hasn’t been done in all four years that I have played. It was also great to watch so many players step up for such a big season.