Water Polo paddles to the win

Natalie Sweet, Staff Writer

With a strong defensive skillset and tough practices, the Varsity Water Polo team defeated two schools in the past week — St. Peter’s Prep and Riverdale.

The team defeated St. Peter’s Prep 13-12 at home, and Riverdale 13-8 at Riverdale’s pool.

St. Peter’s Prep played aggressively, but once the Lions began to match them physically, the team’s confidence grew, allowing them to pull ahead for the win, co-Captain Leonard Song (12) said.

At first, Coach Michael Duffy thought that their match against Riverdale was going to be a tough game, since Riverdale was undefeated, he said. However, the Lions were able to use their

defensive tactics to quickly steal the ball and score.

These two games really defined the Lions as a team, Duffy said. Defensively, everyone chipped

in, and co-Captain Lorenzo Hess (12) scored seven out of 13 goals against St. Peter’s Prep, he said.

Aside from Hess, Walker McCarthy (9) has also been a prominent scorer for the team this season, showcasing a lot of promising talent on both offense and defense, Taimur Moolji (11) said.

The Lions’ success is due to the opening of the new pool, Duffy said. “Since the pool floor is able to drop so swimmers are in deep waters, our conditioning has really improved, thus strengthening the team,” he said.

Ari Salsberg (10) agreed. “We have definitely placed a large focus on conditioning in practice.

Given that the new pool is almost always deep, there is nowhere to stand and catch your breath

during games,” he said.

During practice, the Lions have focused more on setting up game play, such as switching from

offense to defense quickly, rather than ball handling, since the Lions pretty much have ball handling down, Ryan Leung (12) said.

The team focuses on improving their game style during practice, Song said. According to Song,

the Lions’ game style is based on stealing the ball from their opponents and quickly scoring.

Though the Lions’ season has been extremely impressive, there is still room for improvement,

Hess said.

“Our biggest problem is our communication in the pool, which is evident in scrimmages, when

the team that talks and communicates more tends to perform better,” he said.

Abigail Salzhauer (11) looks forward to the team working together further.

“If we work together and communicate in practice, we’ll play so much better as a team and as

individuals,” she said.