Making a splash

The girls water polo team is looking optimistic for the 2023 season


The Jones/Payton girls water polo team anticipates a successful season in 2023 with lots of talent on both the varsity and freshman/sophomore teams. 

“It’s only two weeks into the season, but the seniors have already done a really great job leading the team, not only outside of the pool but inside as well,” said Claudia Walvoord ‘25.

Girls water polo is divided into freshman/sophomore and varsity teams. 

“We have a lot of quality skills and a lot of quality players. Not only that, but we have a lot of players who communicate and work really well together,” said Walvoord. 

So far, the team has been doing very well and spirits are high. 

“The girls have put in a lot of quality work in the off season. Our first week we went 4-0,” said head coach Mac Varilla. 

Team chemistry has been a highlight of the season so far, and the team hopes to continue this streak. 

“From the first game, I saw a lot of really good teamwork and communication,” said Varilla. 

Many of the freshman and sophomore players have little experience but share a love for the game and a drive to win. 

“I think that [the freshmen/sophomore team] is more heavily freshmen, and last year we had more experienced sophomores,” said Gabi White ‘25.

Most of the varsity team is comprised of seniors who played water polo before high school. Compared to previous years, the 2023 team has a good chance at beating some of their biggest competitors. 

“Our varsity [team] is really good this year, one of the best. They all have a lot of experience,” said White. 

Beating Lane Tech will be a big challenge for the team. A win against them would be a huge feat. 

“Lane Tech will be our biggest competitors because they defeated us in the state championship last year,” said Varilla.  

Winning state is the main objective for the team, and the players and coaches alike have high hopes that this can become a reality. 

“I think that a goal that is shared among most of the players is going to state,” said Walvoord. 

The team is already showing a lot of technical talent, and their knowledge of the game has made them successful so far. 

“They are strong in being creative and intellectual. Applying technical aspects into the sport is one of their assets,” said Varilla. 

Overall, the Jones/Payton water polo team has a very promising season ahead. The girls have put in a lot of hard work. 

“I expect the season to be a success due to the tremendous amount of work our team has put in, as long as our amazing coaching staff and overall energy stays up,” said Walvoord.