Girls water polo falls to Hilo, 10-8


Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Kulia Fernandez takes a shot during warm up before water poloʻs game against Hilo High, Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Baldwin Invitational.

WAILUKU–The girls water polo team fell 10-8 to Hilo High on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Sakamoto Pool. This was their final game in the Baldwin Invitational preseason tournament, which was won overall by Baldwin High School.

Coach Allyn Kalaiwaa, Warriors head coach was still happy with the girls’ performance.

“Although we have a lot to work on, we also did many things right,” she said. “Coach Nicki [Barsamian] and I are proud of our athletes.”

In this preseason tournament, many new players got opportunities to play and get in on the action.

“We thought the new players did an awesome job,” Coach Kalaiwaa said. “With the short amount of time they’ve had to learn the game, they did great.”

The Warriors took a good lead at the beginning of the match, but Hilo eventually took the game.

“Hilo did a great job of rallying back and ultimately beating us,” Coach Kalaiwaa said. “Like I said, there are many things that we need to work on, myself included.”

Despite the loss, Coach Kalaiwaa still took positives away from the game.

“We just need to work on conditioning, and we need to keep training hard.”

Hilo High coach Kirstin Kahaloa was happy with her girlsʻ performance this game.

“Honestly, coming into this game, we didn’t expect to win,” she said. “But for a lot of girls, this was their first live action, not just like practice action, but real game action, and they came to play.”

The Hilo High water polo team has slowly been building with coaches they’ve known for three seasons.

“We are just so happy for this win, especially against such a talented athletic program like Kamehameha [Maui],” coach Kahaloa said.

The team learned important lessons from this victory that they will take back to Hilo.

“We just need to keep practicing hard and training and just get better every day,” Kahaloa said.

Senior Chloe Lautalo, goalie, made crucial saves in the last minutes of the game to help Hilo hold on for the win.

“I was thinking ‘we’ve worked so hard, and if we lose, it shouldn’t be my fault,’” she said. “We worked too hard for this.”

She and her teammates look forward to continuing the season being equally competitive.

“We improved a lot,” she said. “We are one big happy family and we’ve worked very hard for this win.