Girls water polo team gears up for a deep CIF run


Senior goalkeeper Quinn Winter contorts her body as she makes a fantastic save. Quinn has been a leader for the team as well always being someone the team can count on to make a key save.

Maddox de Bretteville, Sports Editor

Following a disappointing first-round loss in last year’s CIF playoffs, LBHS Girls Water Polo has high hopes for this season. Despite losing eight seniors at the conclusion of last year’s season, this team has a great chance of success. They took home the Bill Barnett Holiday Cup championship for the sixth year in a row and were a perfect 6-0 in league, becoming Sunset (Surf) League Champions.

“This year’s team is an extremely deep and versatile team,” said head coach Ethan Damato. “We are also a very hardworking and dedicated team. I think that’s what separates us more than anything— our commitment to the team and to each other.”     

Continuing the tradition of success, the Breakers will enter CIF playoffs as the top seed in Southern Section Division 1. Their only loss in regular season play came against Foothill, whom they had previously beaten 8-6 this season. The 2018-19 Breakers’ ultimate goal is a CIF Southern Section Division 1 title, and they won’t let anything get in the way.

When asked if last year’s early playoff exit meant anything to this team, Damato responded that this team is focused on continuing its current success.

“This year’s team is hungry to be the best we are capable of. I don’t think last year has much to do with that,” said Damato.

The team’s hard work and dedication to the craft have led them to their success in league and hopefully in CIF. Seniors Quinn Winter, Claire Kelly, Cici Stewart, Evie Laptin and Bryn Gioffredi have all filled leadership roles this year, providing senior experience and guidance for the predominantly young team. Juniors Grace Houlahan and Morgan van Alphen have stood out on the versatile team, being a force on defense and offense respectively.

“As players, we put in everything we have at every practice and game because our season is so short and we know that if we don’t give it all we got, we will regret it,” said senior goalkeeper Quinn Winter of the team’s work ethic.

If the team is to win CIF and cement their names in the Breaker history books, they will need to top some fierce competition. Every team in CIF has shown that they can beat everyone else. Although Laguna stands out as the top team, their path will surely not be easy.

“To be successful in CIF, we need to play the way we have been all season. The intensity, determination and preparation in how w e have won our games this season will help us be successful in CIF. But to be #1, we have to give it all we got, no regrets,” said sophomore attacker Rachel Carver.

On Thursday February 7, the girls water polo team faced off against water polo power Mater Dei in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Divsion 1 playoffs. Having defeated the Monarchs earlier in the season by a score of 14-6, the Breakers came into this game confident, but hungry.

The Breakers came out fast and took an early lead. Thanks to three goals from junior Morgan Van Alphen and two goals apiece from senior Claire Kelly, sophomore Emma Lineback, and sophomore Nichole Struss the Breakers maintained a sizeable lead until defeating Mater Dei by a score of 13-7.

The Breakers took on Foothill High School last night in the CIF Semi-Finals. Check for an updated game review.