‘Meshing’ well heading into Battle at the Beach

Team captain attacker Teresa Zuniga credits team chemistry for the women’s water polo team’s recent success as they go into their final outing of the conference tournament at the truWest Battle at the Beach tournament on Oct. 25 and 26.

“I think our personalities finally meshed well together and we are becoming more of a family. That’s what water polo is about, just working as a family and our communication has grown since the beginning of the season,” Zuniga said.

After starting the season with a record of 4-1, the team has gone on to win seven of the last eight to improve to a record of 11-12.

Head coach Sergio Macias explains that the early struggles actually helped the team and said, “I think when we hit that slump, we were playing the best teams in the state and all we could hope for was to learn from our mistakes and learn to play a much more physical, aggressive style.”

The women have just come off a 13-7 win against El Camino College and are hoping to gain position when the conference tournament rolls around in November.

“Our head-to-head games are what determine the seed for the conference championship tournament. So right now we are looking at the three or four seed for the tournament,” Macias said.

With the end of the season approaching, Zuniga looks at the truWest Battle at the Beach tournament as a way to kick start the team’s momentum into the conference tournament.

“It can boost our confidence. If we come into the tournament strong and how we should play, it’s going to improve our confidence when we go into our next conference game or the conference tournament,” she said.

Center Catie Tuning echoes her co-captain’s comments and said, “It can help us, because it’s our last chance to fine tune the little things we want to before we can move into the conference championships.”

The two captains have formed a dynamic duo on both aspects of the game with Tuning leading the team with 69 goals and Zuniga leading the team in steals with 57.

Tuning’s center position is the main scoring position on the team and says, “I tell the girls that we all have our jobs on the team. If I do my job and put my goals away, it can encourage them to do their job and help them put their goals away and then we work better as a team.”

While Zuniga credits the defense for helping out the teams offense, “Defense helps us build our confidence if you can stop them on offense, so if our defense is strong it is going to help lead us to scores,” she said.

The team will play against San Diego Mesa and Citrus College, with the third opponent of the tounrament to be announced in the near future.