Girls water polo dominates Waubonsie Valley on senior night

The Naperville North High School girls varsity water polo team defeated Waubonsie Valley High School with a final score of 15-5 on April 18.

Before the matchup the team honored their senior teammates. Following tradition, the seniors walk with their parents around the pool deck, receive a flower from Head Coach Andy McWhirter, and are given Hawaiian leis from the girls on the team. It is a heart-warming commemoration for the last home game of the regular season.

Continuing the celebration, the team started off the first half strong, with junior Kelsey Wessel and senior Sophia Raquel each scoring within the first two minutes. After an aggressive start, the Huskies finished the first half with a score of 7-2. The team utilized their strong offensive and defensive skills to propel them forward. Wessel explains how the team was able to prepare for this match-up against Waubonsie.

“Even though it was senior night, all the fun activities had to be put aside to focus on the game. Defense is always our biggest priority and then the offense moving and communicating is another priority,” Wessel said.

The second half was even stronger than the first. They constantly helped each other out by passing, defending, communicating and keeping an eye on the clock. McWhirter comments on how he prepares the team to be able to work well with each other.

“This is our 23rd game now, it’s like teaching everybody how to do a dance. They need to know where the other teammate is going to be so that they can pass the ball,” McWhirter states.

With all their hard work this season, the Huskies placed first in the Dupage Valley Conference and are currently ranked 2nd in the state. With tough competition from opposing schools, Raquel comments on how proud she is of the team.

“I feel pretty good and the team feels really good. We all feel pretty good about [the season]. We knew it was going to be a hard game against Central and we were able to battle through that. We’ve been working our way through each of the teams to show that we deserve to win this,” Raquel said.

As sectionals loom and more hectic games approach, there’s a lot more to expect from the players. The team is dedicated to practicing and playing hard as their season intensifies. McWhirter explains the key for more success for the team as they enter playoffs, particularly in the hopes of reaching the state level for the third time in a row.

“It’s working hard during practice. The girls get here at 5:45 in the morning three times a week plus in the afternoon, so they drive themselves intensely to get ready for the big stuff in the end,” McWhirter said.

The Huskies play next at the Huskie Invite on April 22 starting at 8 a.m.