If nothing else, the Half Moon Bay High School girls water polo team will be the best conditioned in the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division.
The Cougars spent part of the summer doing more than just running laps and doing pushups and situps. That doesn’t even include the time in the pool reviewing skills taught by coach Mia Cummings and assistant Amanda Stoloski.
The Cougars spent some time in the weight room lifting.
There’s plenty involved in a water polo match.
“There’s constant movement,” said Stoloski, who played at Notre Dame-Belmont and Arizona State University. “The legs are working constantly.”
The Cougars began the season, going 1-2 at the Janette MacKinlay Memorial Invitational at Gunn High School, Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
Half Moon Bay knocked off Lincoln of San Jose, 18-4, but fell to Gunn, 16-2, and Burlingame, 17-3.
The Cougars begin the league season Thursday, with a 4:30 p.m. match at Mercy of Burlingame. They host Menlo School at 3 p.m., Tuesday.
The dry land training is not new to water polo players. It wasn’t a surprise to the team, but it did catch a few off guard. Stoloski experienced it while at Arizona State.
“In college, I felt like a weight lifter,” Stoloski said. “There were a lot of people who played water polo who were in the weight room.”
While new, the stint in the weight room wasn’t a surprise to player Micaela White.
“A lot of the varsity players are big and strong,” White said.
The knowledge of the game of water polo is coming, thanks to the workouts during the summer.
“The kids are understanding the concepts,” Cummings said. “But, it’s a building process.”
Gunn and Burlingame were semifinalists at last year’s Central Coast Section playoffs.
White scored six goals, while getting five steals in the three games. Both Annie Zell and Kyla Kemp tallied five goals each. Kaila Clark scored three goals.