Sports

Fresh Approach with New Coaching Staff

Playing for a new coach and welcoming many key newcomers to the team, Andover Girls Water Polo looks forward to a fresh start this spring after losing three key Seniors and suffering a disheartening loss to Deerfield in the playoffs.

Last year, the team held a 5-8 record but hopes to improve in the upcoming season.

The team still has numerous returners who will bring experience back to the pool this spring. Seven of the girls attended a water polo camp together this past summer, which aided in team bonding and chemistry that will be important this season.

Andover has several key players. Kira Wyckoff ’12 is among the promising talent. Last year, Wyckoff played on the Junior National Water Polo Team, so the team expects to see an especially strong performance from her throughout the season.

This year’s leaders, Co-Captains Molly Levene ’12 and Julia Torabi ’12, hope to guide the team to success this spring. The two also co-captained Girls Varsity Swimming this winter and know how to work well together in order to lead the team to victory.

Levene said, “I have very high expectations for this team, but I also know that whatever happens, we will have so much fun.” Both of the captains became All-American swimmers this year at Interschols.

The team also welcomes a new head coach this season. Coach Dan O’Shea will bring a fresh approach to guiding the team.

Levene said, “[O’Shea] really knows and understands the game, already has us working really hard and is making sure that we really understand the game, the strategies and what needs to be done in a game situation.”

In order to prepare for the approaching games, the team has worked hard this past week. The players have been training to increase their leg strength and improve their speed with dryland exercises. Training out of the pool should prove beneficial later on in the season.

Andover will open its season at home against Loomis Chaffee on Saturday. Although Wyckoff will be missing the game to attend wrestling nationals, the rest of the players are ready both mentally and physically to defeat Loomis.