Malibu High went 3-1 in the annual tournament
Malibu High girls water polo head coach Hayden Goldberg wasn’t sure what type of squad he would have this season when practice began last month.
Participation in the first week of training was sporadic due to players’ missed time in the pool due to other obligations. However, after the Sharks opened their season with 12-9 victory over Oxnard on Nov. 14, Goldberg knew he had a winning group.
“Of course I should have expected it,” he said. “These girls are all great players. They are great athletes.”
The winning continued last weekend as Malibu won the three-day Coyote Cup Tournament at Calabasas High.
The Sharks went 3-1 in the annual tournament.
Malibu opened the tournament with an 11-6 win over Marymount on Nov. 16. The team was beaten by Palisades 20-15 the same day. The Sharks beat host Calabasas 11-6 the second day of the event. Malibu downed Chaffey 12-1 in its final match. The Sharks won the event due to the point margin of their victories.
Goldberg said Malibu was happy to grab the tournament crown.
“The girls were super excited because they have been put in the work during the offseason,” he said. “While I was coaching the boys team, the girls were coming in and doing their own workouts. They did a preseason amongst themselves, and they can see that has paid off.”
Senior center guard and team captain Stevie Sturges led the way for the Sharks. She is a defensive stalwart and threat to score on offense.
Goldberg called Sturges “unbelievable.”
“In one our games, she scored seven,” he said, “and she stopped the other team’s top offensive player. She is the top dog for us.”
Sophomore Ceylon Capa also excelled.
“You can tell her offensive training is panning out,” he said.
Malibu entered their home match on Tuesday against Santa Paula with a 4-1 record.
The Sharks, Goldberg said, have played excellent.
“I have leaders from freshmen all the way to seniors,” he said. “I have goal scorers from freshmen all the way to seniors. These girls have started the season off hot. We have played excellent in all of our games so far.”
The team will take to the pool against a group of alumni during the Malibu High water polo program’s annual alumni game on Saturday. Malibu will host Beverly Hills on Nov. 28 and then Nordoff on Dec. 5.
The Sharks finished second in the Tri-Valley League last season and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.
Goldberg said the Sharks are a family and is expecting the team to have a great season.
“We are firing on all cylinders now,” he said. “I’m excited to along for the ride. We will go as far as we can. The goal is to win league and proceed to CIF.”