Varsity Water Polo makes a splash at Sierra Shootout

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

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, the Varsity Water Polo team made their way up to Sierra College in Rocklin to play in their first tournament of the season.

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

The first game started at 8 a.m., 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 two points for NDB at half-time. However, once the sun came out and the players 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 three 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 HS struggled to keep up with the Tigers’ strength and speed. In the first quarter, NDB led 5-0 with Gould blocking every attempt their opponents 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.”

For their second day of the tournament, the Tigers woke up early again ready to play. Their opponents were Oakdale HS and then Whitney HS later that afternoon.

Both games resulted in a loss for NDB. However, their sportsmanship was evident as the defeats did not dampen their spirits.

These losses were unfortunate, but due to the first two wins, NDB placed third in the tournament.