Girls water polo continues hot streak during bid for perfection
The girls varsity water polo team has gotten off to one of the best starts in Conant history with a record of 18-0, including 7-0 in the MSL West division. Although their season isn’t complete, they’ve continued firing on all cylinders despite the fact that they haven’t had a home game all season.
“Of the 7 years I’ve been head coach, this is the most mentally tough team that I’ve coached,” said head coach Justin Bickus. “We literally have not played a home game all season and generally don’t get done with practice until after 9pm. Everyone is exhausted, yet no one complains about it.”
Even though they haven’t been able to practice in their pool for the majority of the season–given the construction–this team has kept their resolve and displayed their ability to fight despite their obstacles. They haven’t lost yet, and many of their wins have been blowouts like an 8-1 win against Fremd on April 1, a 13-3 victory against Elk Grove on April 9, and a 12-0 shutout against Lincoln-Way West on April 11. In those games, they dominated both aspects of the game, executing on offense and building a wall on defense.
Their defense has been downright suffocating, nearly shutting out the opposition on many occasions.
And now they get their pool back. Bickus said, “It would be great to have the ‘Cougar Crazies’, staff, and students come to our first game in the pool as well as our sectional games at Schaumburg later this month and May. The girls would really get excited to see the stands full of blue and white.”
While having a brand new pool is definitely a reason for excitement and motivation, the main reason that they have been playing so well is their talent and experience.
“We have a ton of returners and really strong players that want to remedy what we lost last year,” said senior captain Maddy Demaret. “We have nine seniors this year, and most of us have been playing together for all four years, so it’s really helpful that we know each other so well.”
Because they have so many strong players, opposing teams cannot focus on one focal point of the offensive attack, leaving the opposing defense helpless.
With such an offense and a terrorizing defense, they can accomplish all the goals they set for themselves. When asked about their goals, Bickus responded, “We have had our goals set since the end of last season. Hopefully that ends in a Conference Championship, Sectional Title, and maybe even beyond. I can’t predict the future, but I know that these girls deserve the outstanding season they are having so far.”
Along with the success they’ve had this season, the girls haven’t forgotten to give back to the community. The girls water polo team recently raised over $3,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The team held a bake sale on April 15th before school and during lunch periods, and held a fundraiser game at night.
The record is accurate as of April 16.