“It’s your turn!” her teammates chastise, as utility Christy Lam laughingly serenades her audience during a game of UNO. The splashes and grunts in the nearby pool are drowned out by familiar 2000s bop, Cassie’s Me & You. The floor is strewn with beach towels and homemade snacks. Despite the loss, the atmosphere feels more like a pool party than a water polo tournament.
The cohesion felt in the aftermath of the game is their biggest asset, according to utility Marie Lee.“We play well together as a team,” said Lee. “We have good chemistry in and out of the water and it really shows when we play.”
As a freshman on the team, Lee offers a unique and objective insight into the reasoning behind their losses.
“Sometimes the plays can be really confusing, not always knowing the plays or where to go,” said Lee. “We’re more talented than they are, we just got lazy…it’s very tiring swimming back and forth and I think we let that get to us.”
This loss in energy can be seen in their first tournament game against El Camino where they lost 6-8. The game seemed evenly matched for the first three quarters. However, the fourth quarter El Camino scored three in a row, leaving the Lancers behind.
As a returning sophomore, Lam attributes a large part of the team’s strength to the freshmen.
“Compared to last year it’s very different,” said Lam. “I love that they want to be on a team and want to be here. Last year was very different in terms of chemistry. The strongest part of the team is our bond, we’re like a family”
Attacker, Sophia Woods, blames their El Camino loss to unresolved anticipation for their following game against Rio Hondo, where they won 10-7. The team was too distracted by their Rio Hondo strategy to focus on the team in front of them.
The expectations for their next game are ambitious, but foreshadow a new team mentality.
“Every team wants to win, so I feel like we have to be smarter and anticipate,” said Lee. “It gives us a mental advantage over the other team”
The Lancers camaraderie will be tested again, as they face El Camino at 3pm on Wednesday.