The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Varsity boys and girls water polo succumb to Palo Alto High School on senior night

Brandon Zau
Vyom Vidyarthi (11) hugs Lachlan Rossi (12) during the senior night ceremony before their game against Palo Alto High School on Friday. Each senior was honored with flowers, custom posters and speeches to conclude their four years to the program.

The boys and girls varsity water polo teams suffered defeat to Palo Alto High School 14-16 and 5-10 respectively on their senior night Oct. 19 in the Singh Aquatic Center.

Before the game, students, parents and staff gathered to celebrate the two senior players on the boys team: Lachlan Rossi and Sasha Ivkov. Following the boys game against Palo Alto, the girls ceremony started before tip-off to celebrate senior Olivia Xu. JV boys water polo coach Victor Adler announced the girls and boys teams’ rosters before highlighting their seniors, while other Harker players presented the seniors with hugs and bouquets.

“It’s not easy to play for four years,” Victor Adler said. “They go year-round, year in, year out. It’s a lot, and at Harker, it’s an even bigger testament to their dedication to the sport.”

After their games, Lachlan, Sasha and Olivia gathered their teammates for speeches and photos, commemorating their last home game with Harker. The seniors voiced their appreciation to their team for their support both in and out of the pool. 

“It was super exciting to play four years for this program,” Sasha said. “I had a great time and a lot of fun with these guys. The parents have been great, the coaches are super supportive. Overall, it’s been a really fun four years.”

“Our team has always been really close,” Olivia said. “Everyone was pretty emotional after the game. There was a lot of hugging and some crying. It was really nice being able to come together as a team in that formal way.”

Sasha kicked off the boys game with a goal. Palo Alto quickly gained momentum as they scored two consecutive goals half way through the first quarter. Harker responded with their offense by scoring five additional goals to cap off the first quarter leading 6-4. 

Harker utilized the second quarter to further their lead and slow down most of Palo Alto’s offensive attempts, increasing the lead to 5-8. However, Palo Alto’s offense overwhelmed the Eagles’ defense throughout the third quarter as the Vikings took advantage of the Eagles’ miscommunication and poor man coverage. 

The race for points continued into the fourth quarter until the game was tied 14-14 with four minutes remaining in the game. After a Palo Alto time-out, Lachlan found a shooting opportunity to gain a one-point lead at 15-14, reviving the Harker crowd with chants and cheering. Palo Alto quickly bounced back with a goal of their own tying the score once again at 15-15. Within the last minutes, Palo Alto pulled through, outmaneuvering Harker’s defense to score back-to-back goals for a final score of 14-16.

After the boys varsity loss, the girl’s game opened unsteadily as Palo Alto scored two successive goals within the first minute. Both sides scored regularly in the remainder of the quarter. The Eagles garnered three points and the Vikings four more, bringing the quarter score to 3-6.

Harker’s offense waned in the second quarter, scoring just one additional point. Palo Alto pulled further ahead with three points dispersed throughout the quarter, concluding the first half of the game with a five-point lead at 4-9. 

In the remainder of the game, both teams struggled to land more shots as Harker strengthened its defense. The Vikings extended their lead by one point in the third quarter, while the Eagles secured a hard-earned goal toward the end of the fourth quarter for a final score of 5-10.

Both the girls and boys water polo teams qualified for Central Coast Section in their respective divisions as the 8th-seeded boys team in the CCS open division lost to rival and 1st-seeded Bellarmine High School on Nov. 4. The 2nd-seeded girls water polo team lost to Aptos High School in the CCS semifinals on Nov. 7.

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About the Contributors
Brandon Zau
Brandon Zau, Photo Editor
Brandon Zau (12) is the photo editor for Harker Aquila, and this is his fourth year on staff. This year, Brandon hopes to celebrate his senior Class of 2024 peers and to tell the stories of the Harker community through meaningful photos and coverage. In his free time, Brandon enjoys taking candid pictures of his friends, listening to music and playing baseball.
Jeremy Peng
Jeremy Peng, Reporter
Jeremy Peng (11) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is his second year on staff. This year, Jeremy wants to refine his understanding of journalistic writing and explore elements of journalism beyond the written word. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music and reading 19th and 20th-century novels.

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