Brand new team
With only two returning players from last season, the Santa Monica College women’s water polo team entered this semester with a relatively new team. A few players were completely new to the sport as well. After Thursday's loss to the San Diego Mesa College Olympians, 10-7, SMC fell to 3-9 on the season, 0-2 in Western State Conference play, and the bottom of the conference standings.
Head coach Jennifer Bullock stressed that the team is new, but that she is pleased with the results so far, considering the circumstances.
“It is a new group of girls, and a new coaching staff as well, so we are just working to build a team right now,” said Bullock.
Bullock explained that the team is hoping for a brighter outlook, and that they are going to work hard for the upcoming conference championship tournament that SMC will be hosting in November.
“Everyone is making progress, getting faster and getting stronger,” said Bullock.
Even though the team is new, there have been a few important players that have contributed a great deal to the team so far, one of them being utility player Ruth Basurto.
Basurto is new to the team, but arrived with over 10 years of experience in the sport. During her inaugural season at SMC, she has proven herself to be a versatile player in the pool. Baurto has noticed improvements in the team's play, but acknowledged that it has been a challenge.
“A good six girls on the team are previous swimmers, but they’ve never actually played water polo before,” said Basurto, who spends time helping new players out. "We are really getting along as a team and that's the best way to go forward."
SMC will play host to the upcoming Western State Conference Championships, which are scheduled for Nov. 8. Despite the challenging season, the team is looking forward to it with confidence.
“It’s definitely a home advantage," said team captain Karen Duenas. "We know our pool, and we know how to play in it."