Lahainaluna water polo team battling Baldwin for first place
LAHAINA – It has been a sterling seven-year run at the top of the Maui Interscholastic League for the Lahainaluna High School water polo team under head coach Bradley Mason.
From 2011 to the current campaign, the Lady Lunas under Coach Mason have won three MIL championships along with three runner-up trophies and finished twice in the top six at the state tournament.
This season, the team is locked up in a tight battle with perennial nemesis Baldwin for the top spot in the MIL going into the final week of the regular season.
The MIL tournament is scheduled for April 21 at Kihei Aquatic Center, with the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state playoffs set for April 30 to May 5. The first round will be hosted here on the Valley Isle by the MIL runner-up, and the championship rounds will be held at the campus of Kamehameha Kapalama in Honolulu.
Coach Bradley is assisted this year by former Lahainaluna water polo standouts Courtney Galarita and Sydney Wagner, as well as strength and conditioning mentor Scott Fleck.
The leadership core of the team is made up of senior team captains Nikki Zamani and Lara Claydon, along with classmates Eva Olson, Kyra Franz, Nicole Slusser and Maddie Brath.
Junior impact players are Dakota Delos Reyes, goalkeeper Brooke Whitehead, Mei Lei Wagner and Teisa Vehikite.
Rounding out the roster are sophomores Hailey Bogar, Ryli Cherry, Makena Cowan, Kaylin Oleivera and Lilinoe Elam Fonohema.
“This is a great group of girls to work with, and it has been exciting to work with the coaching staff as they offer terrific support and knowledge of the game and always look out for what’s best for the student-athletes to reach their full potential,” said Coach Bradley last week.
“Our defense is always our strong point, and this year is no exception. The team has also had strong swimmers from their experience with the youth programs here in Lahaina thanks to coaches Tom Popdan and Jennifer Wiseman,” he continued.
“Thanks also to the lifeguard staff here at the Lahaina Aquatic Center for keeping the facility in excellent condition throughout the year, to Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director Jon Conrad, Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch, and, as always, to the parents and community for their support,” Mason concluded.