Winter sports 2011 preview: vikings aim for CIF

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April Rios

As winter approaches, Joseph Guerrero, 12, practices on Nov. 8, at the Allen Layne Stadium, in order to acquire an early advantage for the boys soccer team. Last season, the team accomplished a league score of 1-2-1.

Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor

With the girls varsity volleyball winning their second consecutive CIF title and the boys varsity water polo team just falling short in the playoffs, the fall 2011 season came to an end on a high note. Now, the second stage of athletics continues with winter sports just around the corner.

The girls varsity basketball team aims to shake off last season’s poor performance as they ended the league 4-6 and the overall season 14-13. Without a strong offense, the girls depended on their back wall to keep them alive. However, a defensive system will only do so much without good shooters and attackers. The returning and new players hope to, not only improve their offense, but also their communication on the court; and with the experience on the team, the Vikes have a strong opportunity to redeem themselves this season.

“There are many seniors on the team this year so there is a lot of leadership,” captain Rayana Villalapando said. “The young players ask us about plays and we show them what to do. We all better each other.”

On the other hand, the girls varsity water polo team aims to match last season’s success. The lady Vikes made it to the second round of CIF and placed third in league finals. With a strong offense, the team was able to create various scoring opportunities and therefore moved up in the leader board.

“We still need to work on our defense and covering the back,” set defender Meghan Nevarez said. “Also on our communication because we lost a lot of girls and we need more cooperation.”

Last year’s performance set the bar high for the water polo team. They prepare for this upcoming season to gain more confidence, come together as a team, and meet last year’s results.

Meanwhile, like the girls water polo team, the girls varsity soccer team also has a high standard this season. The footballers ended the 2010-2011 term 9-0-1 in league and were CIF finalists. However, this year the team is fairly new, creating a challenge for the girls as they try to come together as one.

“We only have three returning players and a lot of younger players,” senior Jasmine Medrano said. “I am a little worried because the new girls are from a lower division and they have different styles of playing.”

With a new team, it will be difficult for the Vikes to continue their undefeated run. Nevertheless, the girls possess a strong offense with accurate passes and long-range shots that will benefit them throughout the season.

The winter season will also bring performances from the boys varsity basketball team, the boys varsity soccer team, and the varsity wrestling team, who is looking for their third consecutive CIF championship title. It all begins with the girls water polo and girls basketball teams, who take on Long Beach’s Poly and John Glenn respectively on Nov. 22.