An unusually high number of players this year prompted girls JV water polo coach Katie Schlueter to try something new; two JV girls teams. Previously, there were only one JV and one varsity team. “Those were the numbers we had,” Schlueter said. “This year, we have 62 girls for varsity and JV, which is awesome.”
After tryouts and the selection of the varsity team, 31 girls remained on the JV squad. According to Schlueter, a large team has 18 to 20 players, so 31 would have been far too many.
Now, there is a “true JV squad” with more experienced players and a “freshman Squad” consisting of freshmen and new players, both of which Schlueter coaches. Schlueter hopes this new arrangement will capitalize on the players’ skill levels as well as increase their playing time. According to Schlueter, Redwood and Marin Catholic are considering a similar system, so when Tam plays those schools, both JV teams may have a game. When playing against schools with only one team, the two squads will alternate games.
“We get more playing time in the games we do get to play, but the games are split between the two teams so we don’t get to play in as many games as we could if if there was just one team,” said freshman Grace Hansen.
“At first, a lot of people were a little unsure about the new practice and game times, but I think now we all trust that our coach knows what’s best for us,” said JV captain and sophomore Amanda Faubel.
Giving “the girls the attention and focus they deserve” is important to Schlueter, who thinks that small practices will achieve this as well as improve the players’ skills. “I think it will make us a stronger team, not only this year, but in the future,” she said.