As we end the first weekend of 2016, we also bid adieu to the much-earned holiday break for Fraser Valley Water Polo members. High performance practice resume on Monday, January 4th, ahead of what promises to be a busy year for the club.
January will be jam packed for our U16 athletes, who will travel to Calgary for the second weekend of conference action in the NCL on January 15. For the boys, this means another chance to climb the ladder and try to exact some revenge from the first conference weekend earlier in 2015. Standouts from the first half of the season for the Valley boys include centres Riley Bennett and Spencer Devitt, as well as driver Garrett Davis, who all find themselves in the top 20 scorers in the league.
Meanwhile, the U16 girls will look to use the weekend as another chance to extend their winning streak since capturing the national title at the end of last season. This season, Valley’s record stands at a perfect 7-0, with a staggering 127 goals for, and 33 goals against leading to a 94 goal differential on the season (85 more than the next closest team). The scoring prowess from Valley has so far been led by Tanaya Makazu, Kinga Wisniewska and Ava Morrant, who each boast more than 15 goals scored so far this season.
While the U19 program has had a long layoff in between conference weekends, both the men and the women will see some action against local rivals, Pacific Storm, early in the month. The men will be looking for a better showing than they had earlier in the season, as an injury-ravaged squad was worked over by the Storm team in a decisive loss. Centre Eric Martel will be looked on to lead the rejuvenated men’s team.
In a rematch of what was perhaps the most exciting game of the season thus far, the U19 women will meet Pacific Storm to try and avenge their final-minute loss from November. The U19 squad will be bolstered by the presence of some of the top U16 players in the country – including Makazu, Wisniewska and Morrant. Ultimately, the FV engine is driven by a pair of veterans in Emily Aikema and Paige Bennett.
After January, the club will look forward to a more temperate trip down the Pacific coast to compete in the Orange County Turbo Cup, as well as building towards conference championships in May. Stay tuned for updates, blogs and news from the club as we venture boldly into 2016.
Happy New Year!