Senior-heavy girls water polo expects imminent success


Anna Nelson

Senior Madelaine Wood launches a throw at practice.

Girls water polo will jump into competition for the first time next Thursday, when they travel to Maine West.
Last year, the Kits trounced the Warriors 13-7. Coach Andy Miner expects that the opening match will serve as a way to measure the progress that the girls made in the offseason.
“Our team has a lot to offer this year because of our wide variety of strengths,” said senior co-captain Melinda King. “I look forward to watching our team work and grow together.”
The squad only lost three seniors last year. However, two of these girls were captains, Yasi Nassiri and Maddy Savage. Nassiri, the leading scorer, now plays Division 1 at Redlands in California, definitely leaving a space to fill.
Despite these losses, the team isn’t worried, as they have seven seniors on the roster this year, including co-captain Madison Collins, a guard who missed the majority of last season sidelined by shoulder injury.
“This is my first season back in the water after arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder to tighten my ligament and I could not be more excited,” said Collins. “The team has great potential this year.”
Miner knows that he count on Collins to serve as a source of leadership for the Kits this season.
“Madison showed up to every game last season and sat on the bench with us. She listened to all the coaches’ conversations,” said Miner. “I don’t expect her injury to slow her down at all.”
After Maine West, the girls will compete in the New Trier invite on March 15, playing powerhouses New Trier, Saint Viator and Carl Sandburg.
“Last year we saw Carl Sandburg at that meet. We lost by five or six points but at the end of the season, we took them into triple overtime,” said Miner. “We lost but we played much better than earlier in the season.”
Last season, the team made it all the way into the Sectional Championship, losing to the eventual state-champion, St. Ignatius. Miner expects the team to get over the hump and advance to state this year.
“I’d like to see us be in the championship game at conference and Sectionals this year,” said Miner.
The players agree.
“Our team has a lot of hard-working players looking to step up and fill the roles,” said junior Millie Rosen. “I think we’re going to be in a good place this year.”