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2019 Winter Sports Recap

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2019 Winter Sports Recap

Ciara Kenney

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The winter sports teams, including girls water polo, co-ed wrestling, girls and boys soccer, and girls and boys basketball, have taken to the pool, gym, field, and court in hopes of advancing to the Los Angeles City Finals. All the teams are ranked top-15 in the section and appear to be capable of matching Pali’s achievements from last year: having all the winter sports teams qualify for the LA CIF playoffs.

Girls Water Polo

Girls water polo practices got off to an early start in November, beginning two-a-day workouts to prepare for the season ahead. So far, the team has been successful in translating their efforts from practice to games, as they are leading the league with their 18-3 record. The girls’ water polo team is hoping to improve upon their 2017-2018 season, in which they had an overall record of 18-7-0 and a Western League Record of 8-0-0 and went on to place second in the LA City Section Championships. According to sophomore set guard Marieka Possman, the team’s chemistry has been instrumental in its success. “I think that the bonds that are made throughout the season are undeniably what have gotten us to where we are now as a team,” she explained. Looking ahead, the team hopes to maintain their winning streak and place first in the City Section finals.

Wrestling

After placing third in the LA City Section finals, the wrestling team’s goal this year is to clinch the city title. However, achieving this goal may be difficult, as the wrestling team is especially small in comparison to previous years. According to sophomore wrestler Eric Smith-Williams, the problem is largely due to a lack of interest. “It is hard to find people to recruit because it is a second choice for sports,” Smith-Williams explained. “Also, a lot of guys don’t want to wrestle because they’re afraid of shattering their masculinity.” Despite having a smaller team, the Dolphins (1-1) have had a relatively successful season so far. They have only lost to Birmingham, the reigning section champions, and they recently defeated Carson. Their next match will be the CIF LA City Section 3 Regional on Feb. 9.

Soccer

With the soccer season well underway, our boys and girls are beginning to prepare for the playoffs. So far, the girls have an overall record of 8-2 and an undefeated league record of 6-0. After losing a close game to El Camino Real Charter High School in the LA City Section Championships last year, the Lady Dolphins hope to win their first city title.

Senior captain and striker Jordan Darrow believes the title is within reach. “We already played El Camino this year, and although we lost, we definitely outplayed them and we were missing a lot of players,” she said. “It would be great to play them again during the playoffs and beat them.”

The boys are also vying for a city title, as they consistently make it to the LA CIF playoffs and have an impressive 7-2-1 record, with a 5-0-1 record in Western League. Most recently, they defeated University, 4-1, and were shut out by Birmingham, 6-0.

Basketball

Both the girls and boys basketball teams are looking forward to competing for a Western League title. Most recently, the girls won a close game against Newbury Park, 46-45. With an overall record of 13-7 and a league record of 3-2, the Lady Dolphins are ranked No. 10 in the LA City Section. The boys team, ranked No. 11, have an overall record of 9-10 and have maintained a record of 3-3 within the Western League. The boys team most recently lost to city powerhouse Fairfax, 67-56.

With the City playoffs starting in February, Pali’s teams will all be training hard in the upcoming weeks to ensure a successful end to their seasons. Darrow explained that the performances by other athletes at Pali will certainly serve as motivation for her and the rest of the girls soccer team.

“Seeing the other sports teams do so well inspires me to work harder to make sure that we are doing our part,” Darrow said. “It makes me proud to represent Pali.”

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2019 Winter Sports Recap