Tritons risen: UCSD women’s water polo makes final push to finals appearance

These are the usual sounds of a morning water polo practice.

Splashes.

Whistles.

Snapping.

Wait. Snapping?

“I can’t do it with my left,” the girl in the red cap opines.

“I can…watch this,” says the other, clicking along with a smile.

“Too much sunscreen on my hands,” says another.

Don’t let the smooth fun fool you. When UCSD’s girls water polo team dives into the deep end, its the other teams that sink. Six straight WWPA championships prove that. Seven all league selections prove that.

Now the Tritons hope a deep run in the deep end will prove it, and that starts next week at the NCAA Water Polo Championships.

“This is a great time of year,” head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. “We graduated six seniors last year, brought in nine freshmen…[they’re] carrying a big load for us.”

The first task is to beat Wagner, the team that sent them home early last season.

The reward for revenge? Top seeded USC.

“That’ll be rough playing the 1 seed,” Taylor Onstott said. “But those games are good for us to play…we have nothing to lose.”

No one is immune to pressure, but this team knows more about it than others based on their location. Several of the team’s stars have played quarterfinals and higher at Coggan Pool in La Jolla, the coliseum of water polo in San Diego.

If you can slay a lion there, you can slay a Trojan.

“High school water polo really got me prepared for Division I,” Ciara Franke said. “We were playing the best teams, and San Diego has amazing teams.”

Categories: Sports