New head coach Amy Frey began the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls water polo season March 11 with the stresses of a season-opening invitational but the support of many familiar faces.
As assistant coach the previous three seasons, Frey knows her roster well, which includes four seniors and three returning starters in senior Gem Sambugaro and juniors Priscilla Gil and goalie Edie Hamilton.
“I’ve coached most of them before, unless they’re new,” Frey said. “They have a lot of heart and they’re very good defensively. And they have great personalities and they’re easy to coach and work with.”
The Bulldogs (0-3) have just a varsity team this season. Other team members are seniors Claire Cervi, Madyn Dron and Katelyn Stowe, junior Lorelei Leimberer, sophomores Olivia Dobbe, Eleanor Glennie, Isabella Gonzalez, Eleanor Lenaghan and Riley Mulhall and freshmen Isabella Abernathy and Chloe Ivan.
“We’re just trying to build the program this year and focus on that,” Frey said.
RBHS finished 8-19 in 2022 and lost to York 17-6 in the York Sectional semifinals. The Bulldogs graduated their three 2022 all-sectional players – first-team Gillian Dowling, second-team Alli Brand and honorable mention CeCe Rosa.
This season began with a sixth-place finish at the Hinsdale Central Tournament. The Bulldogs lost to St. Ignatius 8-3 for fifth after losing to eventual champion York 13-0 and Lincoln-Way West 14-6 in pool play.
“Our shooting, hopefully that we can [home] in on, that’s going to be good for us,” Frey said.
“Some of their goals are to be smarter about the game and know what their options are whenever they have the ball. Some of my goals are for them to be successful when they have man-up situations and use those to our advantage.”