Winter invite, alumni game opens water polo season

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California Baptist University’s women’s water polo team started its season Jan. 14 with an alumni game in which alumni and current team members gathered to play against each other.

For most of the players, the game was fun and enjoyable. Memories and athletic advice from past players were shared to aid the success of the current team.

The friendly game was designed to keep past and present players connected while enjoying the love of the sport.

“Alumni games allow past and present water polo players to stay within the CBU water polo community. It’s a way to honor the players that were ahead of us lifting CBU’s name,” said Madison Gonzales, sophomore liberal studies major and center defender. “It’s nice because we all have a common passion and understand what it’s like being a student-athlete.”

Although this may be one of the only times alumni and current team members connect as a whole team, it has become an embodiment of encouragement and motivation for the season.

Pua Wong, sophmore nursing major and center, said her favorite moment was reconnecting with past players.

“(My favorite part was) being able to see all my friends who graduated and being able to have fun in the water with them again,” Wong said.

The tradition of alumni games has allowed for the players to build new relationships while reconnecting with old friends and motivating one another for the season.

The team began its season Jan. 20-21 at the University of California, Santa Babara Winter Invite. CBU opened the tournament against the host and fell 13-8. The Lancers went 1-3 on the weekend, falling to California State University, Bakersfield (7-5) and University of Southern California (22-1). The team closed out the tournment with its first win over Sonoma State University, 7-4.

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