Foothill girls’ water polo drowned out by Buena Bulldogs


Quinn Kennedy

Foothill Tech’s girls’ water polo faces off against Buena High School in a hard-hitting game.

Nisha Reddy, Reporter

The water was gleaming and smooth as the Foothill Technology (Foothill Tech) Dragons girls’ water polo team jumped in to play an exciting local game against the Buena Bulldogs at Buena High School on Jan. 7. As the girls cheered for their team, the whistle blew and the enthusiasm came afloat.

Cole Dinkler

Buena getting the first ball, they move quickly to achieve a quick goal in the first 11 seconds of the game. Buena kept moving while keeping their high momentum, managing to score eight goals in the first seven minutes of the game, not even allowing Foothill Tech a shot.

As there was one minute left, Ruby O’Conner ’22 takes a clear shot and the ball zooms past the goalkeeper into the goal, the crowd going wild. There being 30 seconds left, Buena does not manage to get another ball into Foothill Tech’s net, the quarter ending in a score of 8-1, Buena leading. 

Coach Sarah Shah talks about the new players and what the team could’ve done better by saying, “communication, they need to talk more and, I mean, as I said before it’s hard because a lot of them were from JV, so they don’t practice together. You know it’s just a new learning experience, you just have to learn how to work on the fly.”

Going into the second quarter, Buena gets to the ball fastest once again, starting the game off with high energy on their side. They shoot and miss, allowing Foothill to throw the ball far up the pool to get a shot attempt, the Buena goalie saving it just in time. 

The Bulldogs don’t give Foothill Tech a break, possession after possession stealing the ball, getting lucky shots while Foothill Tech tries to keep up. The first half of the game ended in a score of 13-1, Buena taking a strong lead. 

Mikaela Clabaugh ’25 skillfully blocks an attempt to score from the opposing team. (Quinn Kennedy)

The stands were full with Buena pride. O’Conner is overwhelmed by this as she says, “they were a great team and they have a lot of school spirit.”

In the start of the third quarter, Foothill Tech starts with the ball, pushing their hopes up high. Adler Striegel ‘22 gets a shot attempt, but gets blocked by a Bulldog, a transition which leads to a clear shot. Striegel has enough of this and shoots from half court with a fast ball, but the Buena goalie gets it just in time. Buena tries to shoot from half just like Striegel, this time pulling it off with success.

Foothill Tech plays hard defense, but it just isn’t enough. The quarter ends with a score of 18-1, Buena in the lead.

O’Conner Reflects describes the teams effort through the game by saying, “we were ready to play, we knew it was going to be hard, but we knew we just had to try our best and I think that’s what we did.”


Buena starts with the ball in the fourth and final quarter of the game. With multiple shot attempts by the Bulldogs, Foothill Tech shows their defensive skill, amazing the Foothill Tech crowd.

The Foothill goalkeeper starts picking her game up, not letting Buena get any more points for the next three minutes. On Foothill Tech’s side, Val Bojorquez ’25 is on a fast break, she shoots but gets fouled by an angry Bulldog. Streigel takes the penalty shot and the ball bounces off of the rim of the net. Streigel picks up the ball again, making a powerful shot into the back of Buena’s net, the crowd going wild. The score is now at 19-2, Buena.

Coach Shah reflects on the game by saying “we did really well, we’re missing a lot of players right now so for what we have … we played good.” 

The game goes on for another minute, each side not letting the other get a single goal. With good spirits, the game ends in a score of 19-2, Buena taking the game. The girls get out of the pool to high-five, shivering in the cold winter air. 

The Dragons promise to not let this game affect them when facing off against Cate School in a home game at the Ventura Aquatic Center on Jan. 20.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article did not include the video directed by Cole Dinkler. The multimedia piece was added to the article at 8:56 a.m. on Jan. 12.


What do you think?