The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
The 2021-22 season ended in heartbreak for the Millikan Rams. Long considered favorites in Division 3, the Rams demolished their first-round opponent with a 20-point win, only to fall in a nailbiter at Peninsula in the second round.
Fortunately for the Rams, they do return a large chunk of last year’s group, though the challenge will be greater this time as Millikan is bumped up to Division 2 for playoff consideration. Still, the lofty goals remain the same for head coach Jose Guzman, who is looking to continue the upward trajectory of the program.
“Millikan hasn’t been considered a top contender in girls’ water polo for quite some time, but in these past two years, we’ve shattered that perception,” said Guzman. “However, we are going to stick to our game plans and take our season one game at a time. I think we got so strung on becoming CIF champions that we forgot the journey.”
The Rams have a shot at redemption with a core group of six seniors: co-captains Jennine Osorio, Avery Reyes and Leila Darby, plus Avery Jensen, Lindsay Arbing and Faye Garcia. Each of those players has a wealth of varsity experience for the Rams, along with standout junior Larsen Jensen, who could be a real difference maker after a strong offseason.
Osorio has been the team leader for the past few seasons, and really makes the Rams go offensively. Guzman has high praise for his senior utility and credits her contributions on both ends of the pool.
“Jennine is not only a top scorer (68 goals, 65 assists), but a great defensive player,” Guzman said. “I strongly believe she's a great candidate for the Moore League Player of the Year. If you look at her accolades throughout her tenure at Millikan, our team has improved drastically.”
Avery Jensen also helped shoulder the scoring load with 70 goals last season playing alongside her younger sister. In the cage, Millikan has Avery Reyes back after a successful debut season as varsity goalie. She’s been steadily improving during the offseason and should be an improved last line of defense for the Rams as a senior.
Millikan has a solid schedule to challenge them for the year ahead. The Rams open the campaign with three straight home games on three straight days, culminating with games against Division 3 competition California HS (Nov. 17, 5:30 p.m.) and Irvine (Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m.) The Rams also have a road game scheduled against Riverside Poly, one of their top rivals in Division 2, scheduled for Dec. 15. Millikan’s two toughest league games will be at Poly on Jan. 11 and at Wilson on Feb. 1.