Technically, Thursday was designated as the final home game for seven Grand Haven seniors on the Bucs’ water polo squad.
But Grand Haven players realize they’ll have to take care of business if they want to have an opportunity to play in the Grand Haven Aquatic Center again this season.
“It was great to be able to play with my team one last time at home, although we know we can play here again at regionals,” said Grand Haven’s Carly Gillissie following the Bucs’ 13-7 victory against rival West Ottawa. “We think we are (talented enough) to get to state. If we try and work our hardest, we all believe we can do it. And that would be special because I don’t know when the last time a Grand Haven girls team made it to state. It would be an honor.
“We lost a really close game to Zeeland earlier in the year (11-10 in overtime), and they’re ranked in the top 10, so that was a huge, huge step for us.”
Head coach Ian Bosmeijer said this is the “hungriest” group he’s coached during his tenure at Grand Haven and it was evident on Thursday as he challenged them to come out with a lot of intensity against a team the Bucs know a lot about. Gillissie said she’s played with nearly all of the players on West Ottawa’s roster during the summer.
“They all know about the rivalry with West Ottawa,” Bosmeijer said. “West Ottawa’s a team that during my first three years here, they knocked us out of districts, but we returned the favor last season. And they’re going to be our first opponent in districts this year, so we’re hoping that plays out the same way.”
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