By Ray Beasley |Staff Writer|
Exciting water polo action took place on April 15 when the Coyotes took to the pool to nearly defeat the heavily favored Sonoma State Seawolves.
The Coyotes took an early 3-1 lead over the Seawolves and led by as many as three goals as they led 6–3 at one point.
Unfortunately they could not maintain the momentum as they were outscored 0-5 in the second quarter. The Coyotes were able to counter with three additional goals of their own, but the Seawolves were able to add five more of their own, winning the contest 10–9.
As many local CSUSB students may know, this season has not been great for the struggling water polo team. Unsuccessful close games have been a common theme over the course of this long, grueling season.
One can only be left asking how any team can maintain emotional strength and security in such an unforgiving environment.
In the storm of emotional frustration, the team turns to their passion and heart for the game as the bases for coping with the many losses. Armed with the knowledge that they are giving it their all enables the Coyotes to find joy out of any circumstance, even a losing season.
“We know the season isn’t turning out to be a winning season; however, we focus on goals for each game and if we are able to achieve them, they are considered wins in our book,” said head Coach Sarah Reneker.
Sarah Reneker went on to state that through each moral victory the team achieves, they climb that much closer to victory because they are slowly becoming a better team. The team confidently continues to turn losses into lessons, giving them an edge no other team can boast.
The real success story is found beyond the simple numbers displayed on the scoreboard, but in the strength the girls find through personally accomplishing team goals.
Through every one of these small victories the team grows and becomes a far more well rounded group of players.
These hidden victories are never seen by fans and followers of the team and this unfortunately leads many people to believe they are a poor team. However, this cannot be further from the truth. The truth is the team is rather young, with the team consisting of eight freshmen and five sophomores.
Because of the lack of experience the team has, they tend to focus on team growth as their measurement of success rather than what the scoreboard says.
“Each quarter of the school year, we set goals as a team and have been able to accomplish each one; this makes us a successful team,” said Reneker.
The team hopes to maintain this continual growth by slowing turning their negatives into positives and gradually creating a team that can accomplish anything.
The team has a couple more games this season against La Verne and California State University at Northridge, giving them the opportunity to apply all they have learned and hopefully achieve victory.