After finishing last season with a share of the Trinity League title and a CIF Southern California Division 1 championship, the Orange Lutheran girls water polo team begins their journey this week to defend their place in the pool.
The class of 2019 graduated some significant talent, but this year’s varsity roster is balanced from top to bottom and will be led by the senior group, including center Izzy Gazzaniga, Christy Marchese, Delaney Demsher and goalkeeper Alissa Salgado.
“Our senior class as a whole has done a really good job of learning from those before them, and they continue to set the tone and maintain the level of what our program wants to be,” says OLu aquatics head coach, Steve Carrera.
Additionally, the incoming freshmen class brings a wealth of experience and is expected to make an immediate impact.
“I’m really excited about the young talent that’s come in this year,” says Carrera. “I’m not only excited about what they’re going to contribute this year, but how that’s going to play out over the next three years with them playing significant roles as freshmen.”
As always, the goal is a Trinity League championship, but the varsity team’s non-league schedule is just as tough, a purposeful move to make sure there are a number of tests for the Lancers throughout the season.
Carrera says another focus for the players this year will be to work on building camaraderie outside of the water. The program continues to pride itself on the development of girls of all ages and abilities as they welcome newcomers to the sport.
“We thrive on taking someone who is just starting out and teaching them and nurturing them through the process…and then watching them be on that varsity team and achieve that goal they didn’t even know they had when they started,” says Carrera.
The Lancers face a longtime rival right out of the gate on Tuesday, December 10, as they take on Corona de Mar High School in Newport Beach at 5:00 pm.