Girls water polo fights to win over Carlmont following tough loss


Ellie Ne

Senior Giselle Ortiz passes to an open teammate, assisting one of the team’s many goals.

Amanda Nolan and Ellie Neuman

Minimal turnovers, aggressive defense and an unrelenting barrage of shots led the girl’s varsity water polo team to an 18-4 victory over Carlmont High School on Thursday, Sept. 22. 

The Panthers conquered the water from the opening whistle. Just four minutes into the game, senior co-captain Natalie Sullivan Wu had already scored five straight goals off of drives and long passes. 

Burlingame’s domination continued on the defensive end of the pool. Senior Esther Kim, one of the fastest swimmers on the team, notched three steals to open up breakaway scoring opportunities for her teammates. By halftime, goalies Stella Wettan and Victoria Sampaio had held Carlmont to a single goal, while the Panther offense had scored fourteen.

“It was a really fun game. I thought a lot of the girls, everybody, played really hard,” Sullivan Wu said. “I think we just all had a really joyful win.” 

In the fourth quarter, coach Perry Wu pulled star players Sullivan Wu, Lily Hartley and Alex Gratch out of the game to avoid a further blowout. This move gave increased time in the water to the team’s reserve players.

Overall, the victory reinforced the team’s confidence leading into the weekend’s Amanda MacDonald Invitational. After the match, Sullivan Wu praised her teammates’ cooperation and positive mentality. Co-captain Gratch echoed a similar sentiment.

“I think games like this remind us that we are a good team and that we play well together,” Gratch said. “But there’s always stuff that we can improve on to enhance more.”

Sullivan Wu echoed Gratch’s sentiments and praised the team’s mentality. 

“I think we kind of carried our head on our shoulders in a very positive way,” Sullivan Wu said. “And I think this day kind of reinforced our ability as a team and our ability as individual players.”