Dive In With The Girls! DVL Water Polo Finals

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Nicolle Franco

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Dive In With The Girls! DVL Water Polo Finals

This year at Xavier, our winter sports have been knocking down other teams left and right around the Valley! Many of the sporting events have been breaking school records and making history within our community. The Girls Water Polo team at Xavier has been the one generating the most talk. After hearing the exciting news during our daily announcements on Wednesdays, the student body found out that our team would be playing for the DVL championship against La Quinta High School on February 7th, 2018. Knowing that our team already made history during their game against Palm Desert High School, our school provided much support and luck to the girls. The Vatican took charge of the student body to get as many people possible to show up at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center.

Of course, our girls tried their hardest to keep the winning score throughout the first quarters. There were many calls from the refs that gave the ball to LQ, but our team put in the effort to get us back on track. Both teams were in a tie for 7-7 with a few seconds left for the game to end. In the last 5 seconds, the ref made a call that gave the ball straight to LQ. This gave a player in their team a chance to score in the last two seconds of the game. Infuriated, our coach made a quick “time out” call to get our team to score in the last second. The buzzer went off and the ball was handed to Jillian Barbato, a Senior in our water polo team. She threw it from half court and was extremely close to making it in, but the LQ goalie slapped the ball out of the goal. Our team still got many cheers and high fives for making it through to the game.


Team Interviews:

  • What were some specific things you were doing to prepare for the DVL final? What was your favorite and most difficult exercise your coach had you do?
      • To prepare for DVL, the coach had us running our plays all the time so they ran as smoothly as possible. Being a goalie, my favorite exercise was actually watching film of our first game against them and recognizing shooters and tendencies so I had a better chance of blocking the shots. My least favorite activity and hardest for me was practicing lob shots. -Blair Burlingame, Senior
      • One of the most difficult ways we train is by swimming with dry-fit shirts. It is difficult because of the drag the material causes, but it helps build our strength and endurance! -Jillian Barbato, Senior
      • Preparing for DVL finals was mostly mental because we were taught to trust in our training. I felt we had a great mental advantage over the other team. When you swim with long sleeve shirts on for hours at a time, you gain confidence in your ability to endure a single game. -Camille Dervieux
  • Having one second left to score and tie the game, how did you feel at that exact moment? Accomplished, scared, confident?

      • I had the mindset of ‘just get it done’. I knew we had to act quickly to try to tie it back up, so I was focusing on shutting out the pressure and focusing on going back to my training and doing everything I could in the final second. -Jillian Barbato, Senior
  • What was one thing you wish you could’ve done better this season?
    • ‘This season, I really wish I could’ve worked on my off-speed blocks a little more. Having a team of girls that are all talented, fast shooters, I seldom got the chance to block shots that were slower but better placed. This played a disadvantage to me when playing against teams and even LQ. -Blair Burlingame, Senior

Coach Pavol Interview:

  • What are your thoughts on this season?
    • We did great, and I am very proud of the girls. Made it to DVL finals was a great accomplishment. Did not go very far in CIF but it is much harder in a higher division.”
  • How did these girls become an extraordinary team that climbed up to the DVL finals?
    • “Girls worked for four years to get to the level they are at right now, and they trained extremely hard day in and day out. The key to our success was the off-season training the girls committed to and the weightlifting program with Coach Lewis.”
  • What could have you done differently during the game to possibly win the match?
    • “I would not change a thing. We played well; we made few mistakes but I know the girls did all they could so I cannot ask for anything else.”
  • How will this team and this season impact the next team and the next season?
    • “We are losing 6 seniors so it will be a difficult season next year. I think the seniors showed the younger players how things have to be done, how to train hard, focus, and leave everything in the pool. I think the future teams to come will use this team as an example and motivation.”
  • Any last words you want to say for this season, overall?
    • “I am happy and very proud of the girls. We had a great season and would not change this team for any win  available.”
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