Water polo teams notch wins on senior night against Cupertino


Aditya Singhvi

Alex Shing (12) hypes up the team ahead of their matchup against Cupertino. The boys came back in the second half to win 12-8.

by Aditya Singhvi and Anna Vazhaeparambil

The varsity boys and girls water polo teams both defeated the Cupertino High Pioneers during a pair of senior night games on Tuesday.

The boys played first at 4:30 p.m., hosting a short ceremony ahead of the game. Seniors Rohan Sonecha, Sahil Gosain, Alex Shing, Neal Sidhu and Arjun Akkiraju were honored, shaking hands with the rest of the team before being presented with bouquets and posing for pictures with their families and coaches. Throughout warmups, the ceremony and the game, players were cheered on by family and friends, many of whom held up posters for the seniors.

After scoring early, the boys fell behind by two points and ended the first half down 5-4. Coming out of the halftime break, they turned the game around, ultimately winning 12-8 behind cheers from the loud crowd. Following the match, senior Rohan Sonecha reflected on his four years in the water polo program. 

“It was really awesome to have all my friends come out. There was a lot of energy and it was really nice. We needed to win this game for our league, and now we have a chance to make it to CCS so it’s really exciting.” Rohan said. 

After the junior varsity boys defeated the Pioneers 10-4, the varsity girls held their senior night ceremony at 6:30 p.m., honoring seniors Arushi Madan, Cassandra Ruedy, Anika Tiwari and Alicia Xu. Each senior was presented with flowers, a candy necklace and a signed water polo ball from the rest of the team.

“Our seniors are an essential part of our team,” Anna Arnaudova said. “Our team works really well together, really effortlessly. We know who’s where, we know what to do, and that’s something that’s really important for us and something that we could not have without the seniors.” 

The team’s chemistry was evident, with the girls securing the lead early on and dominating the Pioneers 15-3 in their last regular game of the season. They have had a strong performance so far, currently boasting a 13-1 record in league, and are looking forward to league championships and CCS.

The match also allowed many attendees, who were unfamiliar with water polo, to see their first game and learn more about the sport. Senior Anjali Sheth, who initially attended the boys’ ceremony to support her friends, ended up staying the rest of the day to watch all the three matches.

“It was really fun. I’ve never gone [to a water polo game] before, so I didn’t really know what to expect from it. But it’s like you can’t not get into this game, just because of how fast it moves,” Anjali said. 

Both teams will play in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) tournament next Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The girls will play at Lynbrook High, while the boys will play at home in the Singh Aquatic Center.