Water polo reaches for states this season


The Forest Hills water polo team looks to head to states this year despite the loss of many senior players. Last year, water polo made it to regionals and was able to compete. With only two returning varsity players from FHC, the team hopes to redeem themselves with a higher title this year. Junior captain Selina Franovic is one of two upperclassmen on the water polo team, the other being junior Katherine Bell. These two, along with three more sophomores, will be representing the Rangers on the team. FHC will be relying a lot on its younger players this year due to the young team. Head coach Lauren Weiss is excited for the season, what it holds for the team, and to see the younger girls step up and play hard.

“I think that this season is going to be great and that it will surprise everyone,” Weiss said.

There is talent coming from all over the team, especially from underclassmen such as sophomores Maggie Zorn, Olivia Luplow, and Sarah Schenk. Maggie has and continues to bring her speed and aggressive gameplay to the team. Olivia is taking great offensive shots on the goal and that is a huge strength on the team. Sarah shows her hard work when going after the ball and assuring it’s in her team’s possession.

“Skillswise, we’re looking pretty good,” Maggie said. “We’re getting a stronger defense and our offense is looking really solid. Last season we had a lot of seniors, so we lost a lot of [players] this year. We made it to regionals last year and this year we really want to get to states; we’re going to fight for it.”

This year’s team is quite young and it has had to adapt to the smaller amount of girls on the varsity team. So far the season has gone by swimmingly and the players have high hopes for the rest of this season.

“After our last game, I can confidently say that I think we are going to go far as a team,” Selina said. “We are a very young team. This can be a struggle with getting some of the basics down, but at the same time it gives our team a clean slate and a lot of room to grow.”

The team chemistry in and out of the water is one main aspect of how the team is going to stay on track to achieving its goal of being state champions.

“One of our biggest strengths is our close relationships and the fact that we like to have fun and work together as we play,” Sarah said. “The team morale plays a large role in our success, and I think that everybody is determined to do well this season. Last season, we were really close as a team and that helped us do well.”

What also helps the team this year is the strong leadership. On the other hand, the team has a bit of a downfall when it comes to the number of veterans. The girls that have already played are taking the underclassmen in and helping them adapt to playing on varsity. The leadership and new players are a huge aspect of getting back on the road to states.

“Last season was awesome,” Weiss said. “We did not achieve our goal of reaching the state tournament level, but we do hope to do that this year. We made it to regionals and lost in the first round to Hudsonville, who ended up becoming state champions. However, I am very excited for this season; we have a small varsity class but a large talent pool. I can’t wait to watch these girls grow.”

On Tuesday night, the Rangers played in their season-opener against Hudsonville. FHC fell to the reigning state champs with a score of 17-0. This would, by far, be the hardest game of the season for them. They knew that going into the game it would be a rough one, so lack of team optimism was a factor that brought the water polo team down.

The Eagles’ strong defense and some missing members of the Forest Hills team was what led them to the victory over FHC along with their ability to find just the right spot to shoot on the goal. However, Selina was key in this game as she was able to move the ball up to her teammates.

The Forest Hills water polo team then took on Jenison on Thursday and secured its first win of the season, finishing the game with a 7-5 win. The game went into overtime with the score tied at 5, until Forest Hills scored two goals to take the lead and win the game. With the help of the team’s amazing attitude, the Rangers picked it up after being behind by 2 at the start.

Sophomore Olivia Luplow had a standout performance in Thursday night’s game. She scored 2 crucial goals that contributed to the Forest Hills win. Maggie Zorn helped out with her amazing rebounds and constant intensity.

Forest Hills water polo’s next game is tonight in the Grand Haven tournament where the Rangers will face multiple opponents. With momentum from the win against Jenison, the team will look to place in this tournament.