Girls Water Polo Takes 3rd in State

Girls Water Polo Takes 3rd in State

The Gig Harbor High School girls water polo team ended their 2024 regular season by winning nine out of eleven games to send them as the third seed into the Division One 2024 state championships. In the first game of the tournament, the Gig Harbor Tides took on the winner of the Division Two Championships, the Puyallup Vikings. In the first quarter, the Tides had a four-to-nothing lead. “Going into this game, we were confident and excited! We had played this team before in a non-league game; it was an experience to say the least. However, it was a good way to learn how to play with Division 2 athletes, and our junior varsity girls got to play a lot, which was a great opportunity for them.” Zoey Nichols (11) said. By halftime, the Tides were up seven to two. By the third quarter, the Tides had already begun substituting a full pool, meaning six would come out and six would go in. All Tides athletes had the opportunity to play in the game. The final score of the game was Gig Harbor fifteen versus Puyallup seven.

This win against the Vikings sent the Tides to play the Bainbridge Spartans the following day. Despite the loss, the Tides played an impressive game against the Spartans. “The best part about playing in the Bainbridge game was seeing the trams play together and not individually.” Kiah Sawyer (11) said. The loss of the game turned the tides bright and early for a game against the Kennedy Catholic Lancers. The result of this game would send the winning team to compete for third and fourth place in the state tournament. The Tides pulled through with a victory over the Lacers, eight to three, sending the team to play at five o’clock that day for the three-fourth game against an unspoken rival team, the Bellevue High School Wolverines. Demonstrating hard work and teamwork, the Tide won the game with a hard lead of thirteen to four. “The last game against Bellevue was my favorite; the best part of it was working together as a team to win the last game of the season.” Eva Dahlin (9) said. The Tides team allowed every player on the roster to play in the last game of the 2023 season, and with every player contributing their best to the game, the Tides finished the game thirteen to four.

Several Tide athletes were recognized at the state level for their outstanding play throughout the season; Kiah Sawyer (11) and Elsie Huston (9) earned spots on the second team all-state, while captain Frances Benson (12) was awarded first team all-state. Jenna Nelson (10) was awarded an honorable mention for all-state team selection, showcasing her versatility and impact on the game. With the team seniors graduating, there are three athletes going on to play water polo at the next level. Benson committed to Fresno Pacific University to play Division Two water polo, and Alexis Tujo (12) committed to Virginia Military Institute to play Division One water polo. The last senior, Bridget Oates (12), will be attending Cal Poly and will be playing on their club team.