With teamwork, synchronicity and determination, Palomar’s women’s water polo team is hoping their training pays off this season.
Comets women’s water polo is currently 12-8 in the 2015 season and 5-3 in conference games.
After dominating Southwestern 19-3 on Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Comets left it late for the winner against Grossmont College in the final regular season game of the year
Their most recent feat was last week, when Palomar’s Lauren Wimsatt scored the winner against Grossmont with only 38 seconds to propel the Comets to an 11-10 victory in their final regular season game. A week before they dominated Southwestern 19-3; one of the Comets’ many explosive outbursts this season. The team also previously won three of four games and placed third in the 18th San Diego Women’s Classic water polo tournament on Oct. 3.
“My goals for the team overall is for them to come together and play for each other,” Puccino said. “They’ve been doing a good job coming together so far.”
Water polo may look straightforward and easy enough from an audience perspective, but without a doubt, it is one of the most physically demanding sports out there. The action going on above the water cannot fully reflect the chaos happening below the surface. As stamina is a key aspect of the game, there is a lot of emphasis on training.
“When we don’t have tournaments or are not preparing for an intense game, the girls are usually upset,” Puccino said. “They have to train and swim a lot. It’s around 2,000 to 3,000 yards of swimming.”
Aside from swimming laps, cardio and legwork training, teamwork is a key factor in the game’s success. For the sport of water polo, verbal and mental signals have to be sent on-the-fly to each other in the pool, involving a certain caliber of camaraderie among the players.
For sophomore, Emilee Foltz, motivation is generated from her teammates.
“We are all really close,” Foltz said. “So I think that we all motivate each other as a team.”
When it comes to the future of her team, Coach Puccino explained her emphasis on pushing the girls forward and supporting them throughout their water polo career at Palomar College and further on. The girls’ personal goals are also her own.
“I want to support their goals. Ideally, we want to get them academically ready to transfer,” Puccino said. “If water polo is involved in their future, I’m here to support them.”
The Comets women’s team is scheduled to play its set of games at the Ned Baumer Aquatic Center in San Diego in the PCAC tournament Nov. 6 and 7.