When she is not in the pool scoring a whopping 39 goals for Andover Girls Water Polo, Sasha Newton ’16, a two-year Upper from Lafayette, CA, is acing the books. Newton was recently named Andover’s first USA Water Polo Academic All-American for her athletic and academic success.
According to Newton, she did not know she was eligible for this honor until her last year’s Water Polo Co-Captains, Kaitlin Simpson ’14 and Lauren Conte ’14, informed her.
The guidelines to be an Academic All-American as follows, according to the USA Water Polo website: “Student-athletes need a 3.6 GPA on a scale of 4.0 to qualify, those that received a 4.0 GPA were honored as outstanding achievers.” Based on Andover’s grading scale, Newton’s GPA exceeded a 4.0 on the scale by which players are evaluated.
Newton’s water polo career began in the sixth grade, when she saw an advertisement for a water polo team at a swim meet. This coming spring will be her sixth season playing the sport.
Newton fell in love with the game and joined the 680 Water Polo Club Team, where she still plays today. She played water polo for two years at her local high school before coming to Andover.
Arriving at Andover as a new Lower, Newton joined the Swimming and Water Polo teams and has been crucial to both teams’ success.
“[Newton]’s biggest contributions come from her constant desire to learn and learn and learn! She will constantly push herself to become a better player, help to design plays and works to motivate her teammates,” wrote Girls Water Polo Head Coach Dan O’Shea in an email to The Phillipian.
One of Newton’s career highlights came when she scored the game-winning goal in Andover’s 2014 Championship victory over Choate.
“The whistle blew, which I knew meant that I had possession,” Newton said. “When a whistle blows, it is usually indicative of a foul, which means that you have a free throw. We were tied 7-7, so I just took that opportunity, and I shot and made it in, with 30 seconds left.”
Newton has enjoyed her experience on the Water Polo team and has developed a close bond with her teammates after just one season.
“I love water polo because of the team dynamic, and I have been really lucky to have a great team, incredible co-captains and a fantastic coach,” said Newton.
When it comes to balancing time commitments, Newton credits athletics with helping provide a good balance in her life.
“Though it can be hard at Andover to manage your time with academics and athletics, I think that athletics put me in a better mood, help me have discipline and make me happier,” she said.