Girls Water Polo Wins CCS


Senior Natalie Hilderbrand looks to pass the ball. Staff Photo: Bella Scola.

Sarah Norum, Staff Writer

On Monday, Nov. 12, the varsity girls water polo team won the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship for the first time since 2006. Menlo crushed its competition in the finals against Saratoga High School, with a 20-10 win, leading them to take the CCS Division II Title.

In the championship game, Menlo started strong with five goals in the first quarter and seven in the second quarter, making the score 12-4 by halftime. In the third quarter, Menlo scored four more goals and Saratoga scored three. To finish off the match 20-10, Menlo scored four more and Saratoga scored three more goals in the fourth quarter.

Ever since the loss at the CCS finals last year, the team’s goal was to get back to the finals and win. This was certainly a key motivation, and the girls have worked hard for this title the whole season. “In addition to getting better and stronger as individual players this season, I think we’ve grown closer as a team and that has helped our communication in the pool,” said senior co-captain Meg Reinstra. “Everyone has worked really hard and they came out with an energy and passion in our CCS game that really reflects how deeply everyone cares for each other, the sport and the success of our team.”

Klingelhofer also feels that the team has grown immensely this season, with a strong bond between all the players. “The team dynamic that we built throughout the season has never been stronger,” said Klingelhofer. “Before every game, our coaches tell us to play for each other, and I think that’s why we got so far this year.”

The upperclassmen led the team with important contributions during the championship game. Senior co-captain Meri Klingelhofer had three goals and an assist, while Rienstra followed close behind with three goals. The third senior co-captain Mia Rosenblatt had a goal, an assist and two steals. Junior Annie Bisconti scored three times, made six assists and had one steal. Defensively, both goalkeepers had amazing games. Senior Natalie Hilderbrand had five saves, and sophomore Celeste Aguilar had two saves.

The team was seeded in Division III for NorCals, which got cancelled due to the poor air quality, and as of now, is not going to be rescheduled. This decision angered many teams because everyone worked so hard to get this far in the tournament, and they will not get the chance to further compete.