Women’s Waterpolo Dive into Win over Vandegrift

Jessica Wang, Yearbooker

Matisse Cohen-Hadria

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  • Avoiding the offense, Shraddha Chaudhari ’25 gains control of the ball. This allowed her to make a successful pass, bringing the Warriors closer to scoring.

  • In the last 20 seconds, Vale Escalona ’24 reaches to block the incoming ball, shutting down Vandegrift from making any last-minute goals.

  • As the ball flys towards her, Vale Escalona ’24 reaches to block it. This successful block helped the team gain control of the ball again.

  • Between quarters, the team gathers at the edge of the pool to plan their next moves. They identified the strongest players from Vandegrift and tactics to counter them.

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Maintaining their three-game win-streak, the women’s Waterpolo team beat Vandegrift 17-4 at the RRISD Natatorium on Tuesday, Sept. 13. 

The team leaped into action as soon as the whistle blew, scoring the first goal just two minutes into the first quarter. The Warriors continued to gain momentum over Vandegrift, with Abby Horsey ‘24, Matisse Cohen-Hadria ‘24, and Shraddha Chaudhari ‘25, scoring a total of 5 more goals before the second quarter, putting the team at a 6-point lead.

“[Scoring] felt really good because everyone was cheering me on,” Chaudhari said. “The toughest thing about [Vandegrift] was they had really good swimmers, but we overcame them.”

The team finally welcomed goalie Vale Escalona ‘24 into the water. This was her first time playing this season. Her saves and direction helped the team pull off the win.

“It was pretty amazing to get in the water,” Escalona said. “In the pool I have to always keep an eye out not only for where the ball is but where the rest of the player’s offense and defense are, [so] I can tell my defenders and offenders where I want them to go to help me better protect the goal.”

Vandegrift put up a strong defense in the second quarter, and the girls worked on communicating and coordinating movements to avoid crowding in the water. In the last 20 seconds of the game, Escalona made two more successful saves, blocking Vandegrift from scoring. 

“I was really pleased, this was the best we played this year,” Coach Matthew McBrearty said. “For the first time, I felt like everyone learned where to be in the pool and [how] to get back on defense.”

The girls will compete at the Round Robin Meet on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the RRISD Natatorium.