Girls water polo team creates history, earning regional spot


Alyssa Clark

After their March 18 Prosper Independent School District girls game, head coach Chip Peeples encourages the team after their first match of the season. The girls had four matches this season. “These girls came out and exceeded all expectations this weekend,” Peeples said. “In their first ever water polo game, they came out as a unit and played as a true team to be able to claim the first ever win in school history. Led by Paige Schultz and Sabrina Giachini, the girls got out to an early lead and never looked back. While there are many things that we still need to improve on, these girls proved that the future is extremely bright for Prosper Water Polo.”

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In their first year, the Prosper High School Girls Water Polo Team will compete in the North Regional Consolidated Championship April 29.

During their March 18 game, sophomore Keira Kleposki, No. 5, reaches for the ball. The Prosper High School girls team lost the first quarter of the game, but won the last three, winning 10-4. “My favorite part would have to be the team nature of the sport,” Kleposki said. “You’re constantly working and communicating with your teammates in a way that I have never experienced before. Water polo is pretty intense, as you’re trying to pass or shoot the ball while simultaneously protecting the ball from the defender, so teamwork is vital.” (Alyssa Clark)

With only four games in their first season, the girls stand with a current record of 2-1-1 and have competed against high school teams across North Texas. The boys and girls water polo teams are both new additions to PISD sports.

“The Prosper girls worked hard this entire season in and out of the pool, and I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in such a short period of time,” sophomore Keira Kleposki said. “I am beyond excited for the future of Prosper water polo, as it is very bright.”

The majority of girls in water polo also compete for the varsity swim and dive team, and the transition from the two sports was done within a few weeks. Water polo, a quick, team-oriented activity, contrasts to swim, which has specific contests for individuals, even those who compete on relays.

“Making regionals means so much to us especially since our region is the hardest region in Texas,” junior Sabrina Giachini said. “We are so excited for next week, and hopefully we do well.”

Water polo involves communication that the team has practiced, and through their wins, they reached the regional meet as the No. 11 seed out of 12 teams.

“I feel that we work so well together as a team, and it has shown by how far we’ve come,” Giachini said. “Making it to regionals as a first-year team is unheard of in the state of Texas, and we are making history.”

Looking for a teammate, junior Sabrina Giachini, No. 2, gets ready to throw the ball. Since water polo is not an active UIL sport this season, the players will not receive letterman jackets. According to head coach Chip Peeples, the schedule is created as the season goes on. The PHS girls won 10-4 against Irving. (Alyssa Clark)

The championship will start on Thursday, April 29, and based on the results of their first game, the girls may move on to play on Friday. They will also compete on Saturday, May 1, no matter the result of the Friday meet. The top four teams will move on to state competition.

“I’m so proud of the Prosper girls water polo team,” junior Paige Schultz said. “This is the farthest any team has gotten with only six weeks of training. The work we’ve all put in is incredible, and I can’t wait to see how we do at regionals, and for the years to come.”

The team will play Denton, the No. 6 seed, for their first game. Head coach Chip Peeples said this will be the first time in the last decade for a first-year team to qualify for regional competition.

“These girls have done a tremendous job of developing their skills, and it showed this last weekend,” Peeples said. “In a pivotal game against Rockwall-Heath, the PHS Girls were able to clinch a spot at the regional tournament with a game-winning goal by Sabrina Giachini in the closing seconds. They have grown as a team and have learned how to trust each other when games get difficult. They carry themselves like they are veterans, when the reality is we are still growing and discovering what our potential could be.

Their hard work has not gone unnoticed, as many of the top coaches in the state of Texas have reached out to us congratulating us on our success. But these girls are not satisfied. They are determined to make even more noise at the regional tournament and fight for a chance to make it to the state tournament in their inaugural season.”

— Head Coach Chip Peeples