The RBHS girls water polo team won 8 of 11 matches to at start of the season. The Bulldogs hope to enter the playoffs in similar fashion. (Courtesy RBHS Athletic Department)

The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls water polo team opened the season with an 8-3 record including a strong showing at its own invitational. Since their auspicious start, the Bulldogs have hit a slump with only two wins in nine matches.

RBHS (10-10) hopes to find its early season form, particularly with only a handful of games remaining in the regular season.

“We started off very well,” RBHS coach Todd Fridrych. “We’ve run into some tougher teams lately and we’ve lost some games by only one or two goals.

“The goal now is to get a few more wins down the stretch to put us in a good position for the sectional.”

Winning the York Sectional will be extremely difficult with state-ranked teams like Fenwick and Oak Park and River Forest plus host York in the draw. Regardless of results, Fridrych believes the tough postseason competition will serve the Bulldogs well.

“That’s obviously going to be quite trying with those teams in the same sectional,” he said. “I think it will be a good gauge for us, however, to see where we are and how far we’ve come at the end of the season. Even if we aren’t able to beat those teams, we can see where we stand against teams of that caliber.”

Senior captains Hannah Flynn and Keri Burke are the team’s top two players. Flynn has scored a team-high 72 goals while Burke is the Bulldogs’ steals leader.

“Hannah and Keri have put the team on their shoulders with not only their leadership but their ability to play,” Fridrych said. “They will be hard to replace next year, but we have underclassmen that can definitely step up and fill that void.”

Seniors Marisa Sosa, Megan Calby and Sophia Giurini also have played major roles in the Bulldogs’ development this spring.

Sophomores Tatum Bruno and Alyssa Schwarz have tremendous potential.

“Tatum is really starting to show that she can step up,” Fridrych said. “We know she’ll be able to help fill the void next year and she’s having an outstanding season this year.

“Alyssa is really starting to come into her own in terms of ability and skill. She’s getting a lot more playing time and experience.”

RBHS closes the regular season with four straight matches at home against Northside Prep, Marian Catholic, Hinsdale Central and Metea Valley.

“We’re excited about the rest of the season,” Fridrych said. “The girls are playing well and they are playing hard. They’re having a great season.”