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Girls water polo takes preseason ranking into first tournament


Girls water polo’s 10th in state ranking will be tested at the Lyons Tournament this weekend when they play against sixth-ranked Lyons and eighteenth-ranked Neuqua Valley.

“Our coach has stressed to us that at the end of the day, ranking means nothing,” said junior goalie Olivia Everhart. “If there was a guaranteed win or loss, we wouldn’t play the game. We need to be focused on the game at hand and not be distracted by the bigger picture.”

Last year at the Lyons Tournament, the Kits faced the third and fifth best teams in the state. Although the Kits lost both games, they showed a valiant effort.

“I think that last year this tournament was the turning point in the program where we realized that we could really compete at this level,” said head coach Andy Miner. “Our biggest strength is our attitude, which helps us when we have to go up against tough teams.”

The pool at Lyons Township is deep on both ends, something that is hard to find in the Midwest. Luckily, the Kits play best in an all-deep pool.

“The sport is supposed to be played in an all-deep pool. I try to stay more to the pure coaching of it, using those deep end skills where you can’t jump off the bottom,” said coach Miner.

This year, the Kits’ biggest strength is the depth on their bench, as they have many experienced players.

“There’s no singular player on our team who we have to rely on constantly,” said senior captain Millie Rosen. “Our team has a lot of depth and a lot of girls who’ve worked hard in the off-season and have come into this season very well-prepared.”

Coach Miner is looking for leadership from his four senior captains who have all taken different paths through the program.

“I wanted to stress to the girls on the team that the road to getting to varsity is different for every single person. The most important thing is that we all get there on our own time.”

Keep an eye out for girls water polo as they continue to fight for the spot of the top team in the state.

Along  with supporting the girls varsity team, also be sure to catch the junior varsity team tomorrow night at 4 p.m. here at home.