Senior Demi Ovalle is the lone remaining player from the last time the Fenwick girls water polo team reached the state quarterfinals in 2019.
“It was a little nerve-wracking. It’s [three] years later. Here I am again,” Ovalle said on May 20. “Honestly, I’m just proud and happy that we made it back to the quarterfinals, because last year we lost in the sectional final. This year we improved and we made it back.”
The way the Friars played this season and in their 9-5 state quarterfinal loss to Stevenson, they probably won’t have to wait as long to return to state.
Co-captains Linden Gierstorf and Ovalle were the lone senior starters for the Friars (23-7-1), who beat York 10-9 in the York Sectional final. Stevenson (32-3-1) finished fourth at the state finals last weekend.
“I just hope that we were good examples, good leaders and showed them that if you put in the dedication, put in the work, this is what happens and they can carry that into next year,” Gierstorf said. “It was definitely a rough draw to play [Stevenson] first but we knew if we brought our A game we could compete against them.”
Fenwick and Stevenson played a scoreless first period and were tied 2-2 at halftime. The Patriots outscored Fenwick 5-0 in the third quarter.
“[Our girls] played phenomenally. We made a few too many mistakes offensively that they capitalized on. That was kind of what took us out of the game,” Fenwick coach Elizabeth Timmons said.
“We were very, very ready. They played wonderfully but I think there is so much more potential that we can unlock. I’m very excited to see what the future will hold for all of our players that are coming back.”
Junior Hannah Schubkegel (2 goals), sophomore Xiomara Trejo (goal, 3 assists), Ovalle (goal, 2 assists) and Gierstorf (goal) provided the scoring against Stevenson. Junior goalie Nahla Basile made 11 saves.
Gierstorf (71 goals, 10 assists) led Fenwick in goals for the season, followed by Trejo (63 goals, 33 assists), junior Annie McCarthy (59 goals, 35 assists) and Ovalle (33 goals, 35 assists). Junior Pam Medina had a team-best 44 assists.
“Everyone that’s returning is definitely hungry for more and ready to come back and continue to work hard and improve on what we did,” Timmons said. “I could not be more proud of how hard they played all season, how they cared for each other, talked to each other, worked with each other.”