Varsity Water Polo makes a splash at Sierra Shootout


The Catalyst / Francesca Arbelaez

Goalie Samantha Gould blocks a shot from a Granada HS shooter.

Bright and early at 5 a.m. on September 16, NDB’s Varsity Water Polo team made their way up to Sierra College in Rocklin to play in their first tournament of the season. 

Both Samantha Gould and Avery Nuss were pulled up from JV for this tournament to strengthen their skills and fill in for injured players. 

The day’s first game started at 8 a.m. that morning, hence the early departure time. The athletes were groggy but jumped in the pool ready to play. Their first opponent was Granada HS, a large team from Pleasanton. 

The game was off to a slow start with only 2 points for NDB at half-time. However, once the sun came out and the players had had time to warm up, the score drastically increased. The game ended 8-10 with NDB taking their first win. This was thanks to junior Katie Johnson who scored 3 goals and a buzzer-beater by junior Mallory Moore.

Players had time to relax before their second game that day at 11 a.m. against El Dorado HS. Head Coach Mike Marques and the rest of the team brought many snacks for the players including donuts and croissants for pre-game fuel.

El Dorado struggled to keep up with the Tigers’ strength and speed. In the first quarter, NDB led 5-0 with Gould blocking every attempt El Dorado made. NDB came together and worked well to bring another win home that day leading 14-7. 

Marques along with new JV Coach Scott Ray expressed their pride that evening at the team dinner. 

“You guys killed it out there today,” said Marques. “We need to bring this energy into tomorrow and the rest of the season.” 

As their gift for winning all the games previously, NDB got to play at 8 a.m. the next morning as well. Their opponents this day were Oakdale HS and Whitney HS later that afternoon. 

The Oakdale game challenged the Tigers as they were neck and neck until the end. Johnson and Moore led many attempts, but in the end, NDB lost 8-11. This slightly dampened their spirits but after a short rest and more donuts, the players were ready to take on Whitney HS.

Whitney HS had twice the amount of players that NDB did, considering many injuries and absences that led to the Tigers’ defeat. This game was short as Whitney ran down the clock, NDB was clearly exhausted from the weekend and this was reflected in their performance. This game resulted in a 2-11 loss for NDB. 

These losses were unfortunate, however, due to the first two wins on Friday 16, NDB placed 3rd overall and will move from bronze to silver next year.