Press "Enter" to skip to content

Girls Waterpolo Makes a Splash

Santa Barbara high school’s girls water polo team season is underway for the 2023-2024 season. There are a handful of seniors on the team who have been enjoying their last year playing water polo as a Don. The team has two players who will be playing in college, Nalani Yim and Layla Szymczak.

I interviewed Nalani Yim, Yharai Casas, and Addie Sweeney who are all seniors that play for the team. Nalani and Addie have played all four years on varsity, and Yharai has been playing for three years, two on varsity. Seniors Nalani Yim and Layla Szymczak will be playing college water polo. Nalani will be playing Division I water polo at the University of Hawaii with a signed contract already done. Layla has verbally committed to Pomona, a Division III school, and will be signing in the spring. 

“Mark Walsh is the head water polo coach and has been at SBHS for 25 years, but we have had a lot of assistant coaches quitting, which has been affecting how our JV team develops. Right now, our assistant coach is RJ Goligoski. For two years we didn’t get any freshmen, so we were an old team and our numbers dwindled a lot over the last two years. The team wasn’t going to stop, but it got a lot smaller.” said Sweeney. “I don’t know what the incoming freshman class looks like, but a young team will have plenty of time to develop together for four years,” said Yim. Sweeney added that “They’ll be a close knit team because they are all starting together”

As for their season and a chance at CIF, the girls said, “We have a good chance of finishing third in the league. We match up pretty evenly with a team we have to beat in the CIF so we should be able to make CIF. We haven’t played them yet, we just played a scrimmage and it went well, and will be playing them next week. We should be able to beat them on Wednesday 17th at 3:15 away. Our season as a whole will be the same as our tournament. We expect to grow a lot and pass on experience to less experienced players,” they added,“I Think we’re all happy to play and teach what we learn to younger girls who haven’t played as long as us. Our team is really close, it feels very like a family just because of how small it is and how much time we spend together.”

2023-24 Varsity Girls Waterpolo team

[Image Courtesy of SBHS Aquatics]


  • Ramsey Royan

    Ramsey is a sophomore at SBHS writing for The Forge for a second year. He likes to write about sports that happen at school. He plays for the SBHS soccer team and enjoys skateboarding on weekends.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.