If a water polo player is kicked under the water and no one sees it, does it still hurt? The answer is yes. Do the players enjoy it? Megan Snow PO ’16 does.
The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (0-2) started their season with two losses on Saturday, Jan. 30, in a California Baptist University mini tournament. However, given that they played two games that day—their first against Division I California State University, Northridge, and their second against NAIA Fresno Pacific University—the team is still finding their rhythm with 11 new players. Despite this loss, the Sagehens faced the matches with grace and skill, and are optimistic about the rest of their season.
Snow says the physicality of water polo is one of her favorite parts of the game. “I played land sports like soccer and field hockey before, and you can’t be as physical as you can in water polo,” she said. The water disguises some of the aggression that would make a whistle shrill on the field.
Looking back at the Hen's (0-2) history , Snow has watched how the high-level players maximize their physicality in playing DI teams. “I take elements of their game and implement them into mine—if they grab somewhere, and it’s effective, then I’ll try it too,” she said. “Playing a DI team is a challenge, but it's fun.”
Unlike other P-P sports, the team plays DI as well as other upper level teams throughout the season. Last year, they even played the Brazilian national team.
After graduating seven players last year, Snow knew that the 2016 season would be a big change. “The team is young, so we’re still trying to figure out each other’s style of play,” she said. In addition, she notes that the unique style of play in California water polo takes adaptation for players from outside the state. But what she loves about the team this year is the sense of passion.
When asked about the team dynamic, she said, “Everyone works hard, and everyone is eager to play, which is exciting.”
The beginning of the season will no doubt be a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, especially as the players learn to perform together seamlessly. But as Snow ponders the team and the upcoming challenges they will face, she predicts, “It will take time—but by the middle of the season, we’ll be great.”
The Sagehens play Saturday, Feb. 6, against Azusa Pacific University and Caifornial Baptist University at Whittier College.