Victorious water polo teams honor ten seniors on senior night


Kevin Zhang

Senior Sydney Adler holds a bouquet of flowers in the ceremony honoring the seniors on the girls water polo team. The two water polo teams held their senior night on Oct. 18, winning both their games.

by Hima Thota and Kevin Zhang

The boys and girls varsity water polo teams hosted their senior nights, which honored the graduating members of their teams, alongside their victorious games against Palo Alto High School, with boys ending 20–15 and girls finishing 12–5 on Oct. 18. 

The boys team kicked off senior night at 5:30 p.m. to celebrate six players: Bora Koyuncuoglu, Indigo Lee, Rick Lu, Andrew Pluzhnikov, Andrew Reed and Thomas Wisdom. Before their game against Paly, younger members of the boys team lined up to give flowers to Harker’s, as well as Paly’s, seniors in a brief ceremony. 

“We all work hard together,” team captain Indigo said. “It’s just been a great experience for me, because I love this sport so much. It’s great to share a passion with so many other friends of mine.”

The boys’ game against Paly began shortly after the ceremony. Rick started as goalkeeper and blocked Paly’s first shot attempt, and Indigo followed up on the offensive end by scoring the first point of the match. Harker gained momentum in the first quarter, setting the score to 6–1, but finished the first half with a narrow lead of 7–6 as Paly recovered the deficit. 

In the second half, Thomas earned a free throw, which was blocked but put back in for the point. Indigo scored a free throw too as the Eagles went on a five to nothing point run. The boys defeated Palo Alto  20–15, bringing their league record up to 10–1.

“I think Thomas [was] really our anchor in this game,” Indigo said. “Coming into this game, he [was] under the weather a bit, but he really turned up and sort of used that as inner fuel to really guide our team. If he wasn’t there, there wouldn’t have been as much disparity [in the score].”

The girls’ water polo senior night commenced at 6:45 p.m., with the team honoring four players: Sydney Adler, Jasleen Hansra, Kyra Hawk and Deeya Kumar. Shortly after the ceremony, the game started with the girls taking the lead in the first quarter after Sydney recorded a free throw to put the score at 4-0. To wrap up the first half, Keren Eisenberg (10) scored a half court shot at the buzzer, bringing the Eagles’ lead to 7–4. Through the remainder of the game, Harker played strong defense and allowed their opponents only one more point. The game concluded with a 12-5 Eagle victory.

Seniors later reminisced about their past wins and the importance of the sport to them after their game. Team captain Andrew played water polo for all four years of high school and recalled his favorite Harker water polo memory.

 “Winning CCS last year was definitely great for us since Harker has never done that before,” Andrew said. “I’ve known these guys for a really long time. So just being part of that team, and celebrating at the end of it was very rewarding. Playing with friends [makes water polo so special to me].”

Family is an important part of water polo, and the team members’ strong friendships built and developed over the years through games and practices. 

“The water polo team is really close and we all get along,” Kyra said. “There’s no kind of tension between us.”

After the game, members of the girls water polo team gave speeches to commemorate their seniors. Senior night marked the final home game of the season for both water polo teams.

“Everyone wants to win,” team captain Sydney said. “When we can see that progress, it’s just the best thing ever. It’s just so much fun. No drama. It’s all friends, all love.”