Laguna Beach High School girls water polo students and staff pose for a picture with alumni. The 2022-2023 season ended with a 19-10 overall record.
Laguna Beach High School girl’s water polo students and staff pose for a picture with alumni. The 2022-2023 season ended with a 19-10 overall record.
Scott Brashier

Laguna Beach High School girl’s water polo: ready for a comeback this season

Laguna Beach High School has had a lot of success with their various sports teams since 1934, a legendary one being their girl’s water polo team. LBHS has had three infamous female water poloists including Annika Dries in 2009 and the Fischer sisters, Makenzie in 2015 and Aria in 2017. After a loss against Foothill High School during the 2022-2023 Opening Division CIF games, Laguna is ready to come back as strong as ever with assistance from head coach Katie Teets and assistant coaches Danielle Borelli and Molly Barnes. Through intense training and a great team dynamic, Laguna is ready to take that spot of being number one. 

Freshman Liv Taub started playing water polo at ten years old. She has an elder brother who played at LBHS and an older sister who played girl’s soccer. Her favorite part of the sport is all the connections she has made playing in different places. Liv has high expectations going into this year for her first season at LBHS. Her goals this season are to work hard and exceed expectations. 

“I want to be known as a good player. Not just a good freshman,” said Taub. 

Liv says her favorite part about playing a team sport is that the team wins and loses together, creating an emotional bond that’s impossible to break. Liv is excited to play with the water polo team this year and looks forward to the next three years.

Sophomore Daniela Suh started playing water polo in fourth grade. Her older brother previously played at LBHS, leading Daniela to want to try out water polo and quickly develop a passion for it. Daniela hopes to improve her technique in the water this season and rank well this year during the CIF games. Daniela says that communication is one of the most critical parts of the game. 

“With great communication, we will be able to win many games. It helps us stay on the same page in the water,” said Suh. 

Her personal goal is to become more confident inside and out of the pool. Suh states that water polo has helped her become more confident with herself and hopes to continue growing that. Ultimately, she admires the team bond and chemistry they have built, shown by how well they play.

Junior Presley Jones started playing water polo in 2016 when she was nine. She has high expectations this season as Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo has had a fantastic legacy in the past, and it is our goal as athletes in the present to continue to represent the best we possibly can and put ourselves in the position to win big games at the end of the year. 

“It’s fast-paced, physical, and requires a lot of quick thinking,” said Jones. 

Presley’s goal this season is to be the best role model as an athlete and a person for her three younger sisters. She thinks that her friends are the best part about being on this team during great days and them being there to support her on ones filled with obstacles and hardships is the best feeling. It is enjoyable to share the highs and reassuring to experience the lows together, knowing that everyone put in their most demanding work and was able to learn and grow throughout the game.

Senior and team captain Emmy Hensley started playing water polo when she turned eight. She loves how water polo keeps her committed to something bigger than herself, essential in her life. Emmy believes they can win plenty of games by our talent, but competing with other high-level teams takes a lot of hard work and dedication. 

“Everyone is going to need to toughen up and be ready to buckle down and work if they want to win and play their best for themselves and the team,” said Hensley.

Next school year, Emmy will be attending Brown University and hopes to make an impact on their water polo team. She wants to take everything she has learned playing with Laguna into this season and into her future, where she plans on studying journalism and becoming a sports broadcaster. 

This year, Laguna has high competition with teams like Orange Lutheran, who took CIF champion place last year and have good coaches and some players in the national team pipeline. Laguna, however, has D1 talent like Ava Knepper, who is committed to the University of Southern California, and Emmy Hensely. LBHS has many talented goalkeepers this year, and the team plays great offensively and defensively. Coaches can bring excellent knowledge to the game, which is vital for success. 

Laguna Beach Girls Water Polo is extremely excited to continue with their season and take down any challenges that come their way.

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Iza Zembruski, Sports Reporter

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