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Long Beach Poly Water Polo

SEASON PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly Girls’ Water Polo

The562’s coverage of aquatic sports in Long Beach is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly is sponsored by Bryson Financial.

Long Beach Poly girls’ water polo is ready to continue growing after a historic season last year. The Jackrabbits were the second team in school history to make it to the CIF Southern Section semifinals, and did it in the highest division the Jackrabbits have ever been.

“They get to hang their hat on being the Poly team that went to the semifinals, which is an incredible achievement,” coach Ryan Rockenbach said. “They’re always gonna have that and be able to look back at this playoff run and be proud of it.”

The Jackrabbits will have another chance at history this year, as they’ve been promoted to Division 2 following their successful stint in Division 3.

“We have the potential to continue to make another big playoff run in a higher division this time,” Rockenbach said. “But we’ve also finished third in the (Moore League) the last few years, so that’s our primary goal for the season to try and get a win over Millikan and/or Wilson and finish higher in league standings.”

Over the past couple of years, Poly has progressively been able to close the gap in competition between those upper league opponents in Millikan and Wilson. The Jackrabbits are hoping that this is the year they can find some success against those teams, and they certainly have the schedule to prepare them.

“We have a pretty tough schedule, only playing teams (division) three and up, so we have some really tough games that’ll help prepare us for those important games and for our postseason,” Rockenbach said. “That’ll be a game by game process and we plan to build as we go on in the season to try and peak for those Millikan and Wilson games and then a CIF run.”

The Jackrabbits have a similar squad to the one that got them to the semifinals last season, led by returning senior Anna Mor. She was one of Poly’s top goal scorers last year, and finished the season with an impressive 69 goals, 35 assists and 39 ejections earned.

The Jackrabbits will also look to third-year varsity junior Marcy Leonor, as well as senior hole setter Alyssa Greenwood. Goaltender Paige Elder will have big shoes to fill in place of standout graduate Sienna Groves.

“We only have two new varsity players but aside from that everything is really working well together,” Rockenbach said. “We’re just ready to ride the momentum that we had last season and run a similar kind of team strategy with similar tactics.”

Poly will open its season at home against Peninsula on Dec. 6 at 4:00pm.

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Eli Aquino
Eli Aquino is a high school student with plenty of writing and technology skills. He has a healthy knowledge and passion for sports and looks to take on journalism as a future career.