Haven has high hopes for season

Its members may be short on experience, but the Grand Haven girls water polo team has tall expectations.
Nich Wolak
Mar 31, 2014

“We expect to be top three in the state this year,” said coach Matt Alman. “After this, I have no reason to believe that we can’t be — especially with the progression that we’ve made.”

Those comments from Alman came after an emotional 7-6 win over East Kentwood on March 20, which opened up Grand Haven’s regular-season. The Buccaneers played a woman down the entire fourth quarter, but held on for the win against the rival Falcons.

Alman called it the best victory he’s ever been a part of.

Grand Haven wasn’t able to swing its momentum into the next week though, falling to Zeeland West last Thursday, 11-3. 

 Any success the Bucs might have this season will come despite a lack of experience and depth. Three of Grand Haven’s eight members are freshmen, and Stephanie Shantz is the only senior. Shantz and sophomore Murielle Garbarino are the only returners with starting experience.

“The girls need to figure themselves out, their team out, because 95 percent of these girls have never played together,” Alman said. “It’s just figuring each other out. Water polo is a team game where everything is quick. You have to know them, you have to know what your players and other teammates are going to do before they even do it, otherwise your shots are off, your passes are off.”

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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