Losing is always hard. It’s especially heart-breaking when it’s for a state championship.
But Bainbridge High School girls water polo coach Joy Miller said losing to Curtis has fueled the team’s fire for next season. “Their ambition has gotten fueled by last weekend,” she said.
BHS competed for the state title for the first time since 2006. The Spartans faced a familiar foe, Curtis High, which they already had lost to twice this season, both by one point.
Prior to the match, Miller told them they deserved to be there. “What I told them was they worked hard enough to get to this game,” she said. “They earned their spot there, and it was just a show-off moment of how hard they worked.”
Like the previous meetings this season, the title matchup also was close as the teams were tied 5-5 in the final period. But the Vikings scored twice from there to win it 7-5.
Vivian Morrow scored a couple of goals while Lilia Manges, Kristina Dupont and Grace Pratt scored one each.
Even though they lost, Miller said it was great to have the playoffs back after they had been canceled the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It was a huge deal,” Miller said. “The current seniors were freshmen the last time there was state. It was really emotional because that Bainbridge team placed eighth” in 2019.
In addition, Miller and the squad were upbeat about their second-place finish, realizing their big accomplishment and improvement at state.
“It felt like a big accomplishment to a lot of them, given that in the past, we have barely placed at state,” Miller said, adding they are losing eight seniors, but will have a solid returning squad with new freshmen on board. “It left a lot of the younger kids really hungry for more success in the future.”