Water polo season begins with multiple overtimes

Akash Balakumara, Staff Writer

After a year of playing with COVID rules like no physical contact between players, the Tualatin boys’ varsity water polo team started off the season with multiple games ending in overtime.

The preseason opener at home on Sept. 13 against Lincoln was a close game. Lincoln led most of it until Tualatin tied up the score near the end of the fourth quarter at 14-14. An overtime possession was called, and Lincoln unfortunately took the win with four additional goals. The final score was 18-14.

“The last thing I expected was to start the season off with an overtime,” junior Ethan Marreel said.

Recently, the boys’ varsity team participated at the Tualatin Hills tournament, where they competed against Bend. During the first half, Bend consistently held their three to four point lead until Tualatin came back in the second and soon led by three. However, in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, Bend was able to catch up and tie the score at 10-10. A golden goal was called to finish off the game. Bend got a rebound off Tualatin’s missed goal and scored, leaving Tualatin at a one-point deficit.

“Anytime there’s an overtime you know it’ll be a good game!” senior Kadence Morgan said.

On Sept. 27, the boys’ varsity team travelled to Tigard, where they took home a 17-5 point win, leading the entire game. They also took an expected 20-14 win against Hillsboro on Sept. 30.

The girls’ varsity team took home the preseason win against Lincoln, winning with a 14-point lead ending at 18-4. On Sept. 17, they competed in a tournament at Newberg where they had an easy 10-4 win against Summit. Similarly, Sept. 30, was a painless 16-10 win on Hillsboro. 

The next day the girls’ varsity team played at a three-day Tualatin Hills tournament where they beat Summit for the second time and finished off the tournament beating Mountain View with a six-point lead at 11-5. 

The following day there was an away game at Newberg where they fell short by three points. After a hard couple weeks of back-to-back games and tournaments, the Tualatin girls’ varsity team secured a top 100 national ranking.

“I love the close team bond!! We get to do little outings and dinners and get closer as a team, and it shows in the pool!” junior Tullia Salboro said.