Mililani Girls Ready In The Hunt For State Water Polo Title
Mililani girls water polo team spent last week regrouping, according to head coach Gregg Wong.
“We stumbled a little bit at the OIA tournament, finishing fourth, and we’re lucky to have had the week to get our bearings straight. The girls are definitely excited and anxious to get the bad taste out of their mouths.”
The ultimate opportunity to write the perfect ending to the season comes this week when Mililani takes part in the girls state water polo championships, which will be at UH Manoa’s Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex. Mililani brings a 11-4 mark into the state tournament. Its losses to date have come to Kapolei (twice), Kaiser, and OIA champion Kahuku, although the Trojans didn’t have its full roster at the OIA tourney.
“We were missing a couple of players for various reasons, and some of the continuity we had built up was lost,” Wong said. “We’ve had so many lineup changes lately that this week we’re getting back to the basics. Improved teamwork and communication will help with our execution.”
Mililani also spent the early part of last week in team bonding activities in an attempt to put the OIA tournament firmly behind them.
“We went paint balling on that Sunday and had a great time, and on Monday we did inner-tube water polo with the boys swim team,” Wong said. “We got back to work on Tuesday.
“We’ve been practicing well, so hopefully that will transfer over into the games. Everyone knows what to do. It’s a matter of being able to do it together and work together and put it together.”
Kaylie Miyashita, Talisa Caldwell, Chanel Long and Chloe Long have been team leaders to date. The foursome will be counted on to provide some scoring punch for a team that’s 11-1 in games when they tally four goals or more. Lower-scoring affairs also are a safe bet at the state tournament, where the best defensive teams will be among the field.
“The competition at the state tournament will be tighter,” said Wong, whose Trojans are making a second straight appearance. “It will be up to us to be able to adjust and go to our second and third scoring options when a team has taken away four first-scoring options. That comes down to teamwork and continuity.”
Mililani was the consolation champion at last year’s state tournament, dropping its first-round game to Kapolei before defeating both Roosevelt and Leilehua in the losers’ bracket.