Haley Daarstad explains her love for water polo

Lucelis Martinez, Staff Writer

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Haley Daarstad,VMHS senior, has played water polo for four years and has given the sport her all, improving her skills since freshman year. Although she tried many sports like volleyball and soccer before, water polo is her true sport.

Daarstad explained, “I just fell in love with it, it’s just really fun. It’s a really aggressive  sport and I’m very aggressive in the sport. It’s different, not many people know about it.”

Water polo is known for the competitive edge it brings out in its players. Under water all bets are off for the players who give the game their all. Playing water polo has also demanded a lot out of Daarstad. She has had to make many sacrifices.

Daarstad said, “All through the season you don’t really have much of a social life or a
job. Spending time doing homework. I get home and barely have time to do homework. No
sleep.”

So many sacrifices are worth it for Daarstad because she loves the sport so much. Learning and growing within the sport has made her a better player. Daarstad had recently been kicked in the throat during a game, elbowed in the nose, and hit many times as a result of the energy players have. In the moment, anything goes.

Daarstad recalls, “A couple weeks ago, we were losing and we were really tired and we stepped it up, improved it, worked really hard and ended up beating the team by one. We were down by four points but came back and were kinda like ‘we got this, we got this’ we cheered each other on. I scored like two goals in a row and we realized we could do this.” In water polo, the score changes every quarter. When the players see two zero’s they could use them as motivators to play almost as if it was a new game. They can improve as the game progresses.

Daarstad said in the end, “It really doesn’t matter whether you’re down by ten or up by ten you never give up, never play down the other team. You never sit back and laugh. You’re always in the game.”

Apart from motivating each other to stay in the game by not slacking off and staying alert while playing, it is important for the players not to give up because it shows respect for the other team as well. The other team is also a team full of competitors. Daarstad also talked about her team’s dynamic.

She elaborated, “We’re very stubborn. We try to make sure everyone’s doing well. We always try to help each other. Then we’re stubborn and we get mad at each other a lot because we’re just butting heads sometimes. We always know that if someone is doing something wrong they are going to try to fix it and we help them out. We try to help each other out because we know everyone is working really hard and we try to respect that of each other.”

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Haley Daarstad explains her love for water polo