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Water polo squads show improvement

water polo -- Forest Grove's boys and girls water polo teams earn respectability by square off against top varsity competition

By zack palmer

of the news-times

Forest Grove's boys and girls water polo teams have just one win between them, but coach L'Erin Waterstreet knows that is a misleading statistic.

In the past, Forest Grove's two teams were merely concerned with fundamentals - learning the basics of water polo to avoid lopsided losses. This year, says Waterstreet, the Vikings have moved way beyond the basics and are plunging into the intracacies of the sport.

'It's really at the point where we're working on fine-tuning our overall game,' she said. 'We've picked up our level of play and now we're competing with varsity teams.

'In the past we were mostly just concerned with learning the basics, but now they're taking all the skills we show them in practice and they're implementing them in their game play.'

The Forest Grove girls picked up a thrilling 5-4 win over Woodburn back on Sept. 13 to account for the team's only win of the year, but even in losses to Tigard and Lakeridge this past week, Waterstreet and fellow coach Cari Blanchard have been pleasantly surprised.

'Yes, we lost, but the way we played water polo was just astounding for both Cari and myself,' said Waterstreet. 'The improvement we've showed even since the beginning of this year is amazing.'

The Vikings will have a chance to test their new skills today with a pair of home games against Tualatin. The Forest Grove girls (1-3) will square off against Tualatin at 4 p.m. and the boys (0-4) will begin around 5 p.m.

Beyond that, Forest Grove has a pair of road matches scheduled for next week, beginning with a trip to Newberg on Monday and a visit to Lake Oswego on Wednesday.

'Even though our record doesn't show how well we're playing, I think it will by the end of the season,' said Waterstreet.