Freshman heavy women’s water polo team gears up for upcoming season

Story and Photo by Victoria Rowe

Women's water polo team practicing for their first home game against Mt. San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Coming off a 20-9 win-loss season last year, winning South Coast conference, and losing to Golden State in the second round of regional playoffs the women’s water polo team nonetheless finished top 8 in the state.

Coach Chris Oeding’s goal this upcoming season is to go further. He wants the team to defend their conference championship title, win their division and qualify for state playoffs.

“This year’s team is freshman heavy, we have two returners but I feel that it is a very well balanced team,” Oeding said. “There is a lot of potential in this years team. It’s just a matter of who steps up and shines.”

The teams that have given LBCC the most trouble in the past are Mount San Antonio and Cerritos College but Oeding and the team are ready to take on the challenge of defeating them.

“We don’t really know what these teams have to offer so we just have to focus on our team here and whatever they put in front of us we have to be ready,” said assistant coach Djoko Radunovic.

“The biggest thing is working together and working off each other’s strengths and weaknesses to build off each other and beat our rivals.” Sophomore and goalkeeper Cami Owens said.

As a returner of the team Owens said, “My favorite part about being on this team is just the bond you make with the girls on the team and the coaches.”

Oeding is a former Olympic athlete as he competed in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney Australia. In 2016 Oeding was also the assistant coach at the Rio Olympics for the women’s water polo team.

“Your goal as a coach is to always get your athletes from one level to the next, in terms of coaching whether it’s the national level or the college level you’re just trying to push them to the next level in hopes that what they learn here they can take to wherever they transfer,” said Oeding.

Assistant Coach Bradley Adamson says “I am the conditioning coach but we each have our own little piece to the puzzle and we have a great coaching staff to make this a successful season.”

The women’s water polo team will be playing against L.A Trade-Tech on Saturday, Sept. 15.