Q: Looking back at your career at Princeton, are there any moments that really stand out to you?
A: I’d say that definitely this year has been a pretty memorable year, and I’d say if I had to pick one memory that I’m going to look back on, it would probably be the freshmen making lip-sync dances before each game of our last tournament.
Q: What kind of dances?
A: The freshmen got together and got songs and sang about our opponents to psych us up before each game of the last tournament. So they sang to “Baby Got Back,” “Bye Bye Bye” and “All Star.”
Q: So I’m guessing that’s pretty much a pregame tradition?
A: Well now it is — it wasn’t before.
Q: What sort of traditions do you have to get ready for a game?
A: I don’t really have any pregame traditions; I just prefer to really get out there. I get pretty relaxed before games.
Q: Looking ahead to NCAAs, who is your opponent, and what are you specifically focusing on?
A: Well, we first have to focus on our game against USC. They’ve won a huge number of titles in the last 10 years, so they’re obviously a daunting opponent, but if we play well we hope to focus on our defensive effort and keep the score low and try our hardest out there.
Q: As the goalie, what do you view as your most important role on the team?
A: Definitely defensive coordination. I’m constantly screaming at the girls, and they probably hate me for it, but I direct both offense and defense.
Q: What do you think your biggest athletic accomplishments have been?
A: Definitely this weekend, both as a team and an individual, I think that it’s so nice to finish your career on a high note like this: going to the NCAAs for the first time and winning both Southerns and Easterns, having an undefeated home season and really coming together as a team.
Q: Now how did you start competing in water polo?
A: I started playing when I was nine because my brother and father had played.
Q: So, it was very much a family game?
A: Yeah, and it’s very big in California. It’s easy for swimmers to get into water polo.
Q: What else do you do around campus?
A: Water polo is probably my biggest priority, in addition to academics. I’m also in [Kappa Alpha] Theta and I’ve taken part in a few projects and organizations, but nothing has been as meaningful as water polo has.
Q: What’s been the most rewarding part of playing water polo at Princeton?
A: Definitely having a family. From day one stepping on campus I think that most of us have found that the team is a family, and we’re constantly looking out for each other, both in and out of the pool.
Q: What has been the hardest part of balancing work, practice, games, thesis, etc.?
A: I don’t know. I would think that water polo, instead of making it harder on academics, has actually made it easier in providing that structure. So I know that I’m going to have to be at practice at this time and be away on these weekends has made me more focused on what I need to get done and when I need to get it done. I definitely wouldn’t have worked on my thesis so much over the fall if I hadn’t been thinking about water polo.
Q: You said you don’t really have any pregame rituals; do you have any special post-game rituals?
A: Not really, I guess just pregame, [senior center defender] Audrey [Zak] and I just fire up the girls and try and keep everyone focused. We have a silly dynamic warm-up that we do prior to our game that has been pretty serious over the years since our volunteer assistant two years ago had us start doing it, and this year I guess the freshmen have tried to make it a little more lighthearted and silly by adding cheers to our counting, which most of the upperclassmen want to bite their heads off when they do, but we’ve decided to embrace it.
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