With only two returning starters on the team, Andover Girls Water Polo played together for the first time against Williston this Saturday, ultimately falling 4-17. Later on Saturday, Andover fell to Greenwich with a score of 3-16. Andover’s record now stands at 0-2.
Despite the disappointment of these early losses, Andover used Saturday as an opportunity to strengthen their skills and unity as a team.
According to Kayla Lang ’22, “Throughout the game, we were all learning to play with one another. Both matches were really good experiences for us as a whole because it gave us a chance to play as a fairly new team and learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As the games went on I think everyone improved a lot and knew what to do despite what the score may show.”
While Andover’s roster largely consists of younger players, the team has done an impressive job competing so far, especially considering the lack of experience of its many new players, according to Eliza Sandell ’20.
Sandell said, “It is a very young team as there are only two starters from last season on our team. We have a lot of strong swimmers, but a lot of people who don’t have a lot of experience playing water polo itself. I was really impressed how things went along given the lack of experience.”
Despite being early in the season, the team has already grown close, according to Ariana White ’22 and Sandell.
White said, “It’s been really nice. The team is so nice and loving. They always want everyone to feel super included, and they are just genuinely nice people.”
Sandell added, “Water polo is a team sport, and our team is composed of a lovely group of girls, so getting to spend time with them is a pleasure.”
The team aims to improve upon its ability to move the ball under pressure, according to Sandell.
Sandell said, “Looking forward into our next games, we need to be thinking about really good passing and passing under pressure. When we’re pressed really hard we need to learn how to still move the ball around the perimeter because we are really struggling to get set up on offense; so we will work on that a lot in practice. The goal is to be constantly improving and I think we will, given the work ethic we have.”
Andover will next face Loomis Chaffee, Williston, and Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday.