Jazmin Lamoureux fights for a loose ball during a water polo match against Tahoma on April 16. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Jazmin Lamoureux fights for a loose ball during a water polo match against Tahoma on April 16. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

South Kitsap making a push for the playoffs

The Wolves are battling with Lincoln High School for the final spot

PORT ORCHARD — Just a few years into its existence, the South Kitsap girls water polo team is making a push for the postseason.

It’s a remarkable accomplishment for a team that continually takes in players with no experience in the sport. And no one would have blamed the program for taking a small step back with only 12 of the 23 players being returners from the previous season — in which it missed out on the playoffs by just one game — and losing players at the most important positions.

But with league wins over Foss and Mount Tahoma earlier this year, the Wolves are in the hunt once again. They have to beat out Lincoln for the fourth and final playoff spot from their league and have two matches remaining against them — at Lincoln on April 25 and at home on May 1, according to the SKHS Athletics Calendar.

“They’re learning; we’ve got a lot of new players,” head coach Zack Fogel said. “Even our returning players are fairly new. Even experienced players don’t have the same experience other teams have. We’re competing with teams that play year-round.”

Water polo is still a relatively new high school sport for many teams in the area, but some receive a leg up from having a year-round program. That is something Fogel is hoping will be built as the sport’s popularity grows. But in the meantime, the more experienced players don’t seem to mind coaching up the greenhorns.

“By the end of the year, the girls will be extremely improved,” said junior Miranda Lynam, one of the team’s captains. “We’ve seen that every year that I’ve been here. It makes me happy to see the girls improve and how happy they are about it.”

Lynam herself was once in that position. Although she had extensive experience as a swimmer, she had never played until her freshman year at South Kitsap. It was a perfect opportunity for Lynam as she had grown a little “bored” of swim meets. After a stint playing in Gig Harbor in the offseason, she is now one of the team’s more experienced players.

“I remember where I was when I started, so I’m able to help the girls who don’t really know how to swim or are not as confident,” Lynam said.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t growing pains. Against a much more experienced Tahoma team on April 16, the Wolves fell 11-2. Lynam opened the game with a goal in the first few minutes, but the Bears soon took over. Tahoma had an experienced hole-set player — the primary offense position — in Iliana Hammerstrom, who was able to get good position in front of the South Kitsap net. She scored eight of her team’s 11 goals.

Hana Marks also scored for South Kitsap in the second period on a penalty shot.

Some of the younger and less experienced players then got a chance to shine in the junior varsity game, which South Kitsap won 3-2. Sarah Fontenot scored twice for the Wolves and Sofia Davila netted the eventual game-winner in the second period.

Plenty of time remains for South Kitsap to be ready for its two important league games. The Wolves have an April 23 matchup at Wilson before the first of two games against Lincoln. They will also take part in the Emerald Ridge Tournament April 27-28.

“We’ve got time to keep improving,” Fogel said.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

More in Sports

The North Kitsap passing game struggled Thursday, but quarterback Colton Bower rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Weather forces NK to use ground game in 32-0 win over BI

If North Kitsap hopes to go far in the state high school… Continue reading

Bainbridge quarterback Jack Grant, left, hands off to Garrett Goade as Port Angeles defender Jeremiah Hall closes in on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 7

Port Angeles 27, Bainbridge 7 The Spartans had their opportunities, but the… Continue reading

Colton Bower passed for 363 yards and six touchdowns in North Kitsap’s 56-21 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower throws 6 TD passes, runs for 100 yards in romp

Friday night brought together a North Kitsap team that loves to air… Continue reading

Bainbridge senior Eden Michael took home a second-place finish in the final regular season cross country league meet at Battle Point Park. Michael’s performance helped lead Bainbridge to a team victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group photos)
Bainbridge girls win final league meet

NK girls, Kingston boys each run to 2nd place

Bainbridge senior Maddy Brown looks to pry the ball loose from a Sequim player during her team’s 1-0 win Thursday night. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Bainbridge maintains top spot with 1-0 win over Sequim

Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for… Continue reading

Bainbridge sophomore Kathryn Houseman swims to victory in the 500-yard freestyle in Tuesday’s tri-meet against North Kitsap and Kingston. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS swimmers dominating on road to state

With a reloaded roster full of experienced underclassmen, the Bainbridge girls swim… Continue reading

Finn Miller plays defense against his Mercer Island counterpart, Finn Friedland (7), in Monday night’s water polo match agains the Islanders. Bainbridge won 17-8. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS water polo beats Mercer Island to remain undefeated

In the 50-year history of boys high school water polo in Washington… Continue reading

North Kitsap improved to 4-0 on the season with a 42-7 win over Olympic on Friday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football roundup: Week 5

North Kitsap 42, Olympic 7 The Trojans hung tough for a while,… Continue reading

Colton Bower
Big passing plays spark N. Kitsap over Olympic

The Vikings didn’t get off to their fastest start on Homecoming night,… Continue reading

Most Read