By John Philip Wyllie
One is a stalwart defender and a major obstacle to anyone trying to attack the Eastlake High School cage. The other is a ball hawk who ranks among the leading scorers on the team. Together, these Latina athletes are part of a nucleus of swimmers that have propelled the Titans water polo team to an 11-5 record.
“Victoria Nuñez is our key defensive player and “D” hole. She gets a lot of steals every game and helps our team a lot. She shuts down the offensive hole. That is where the (opposing players) are the closest to our cage and shoot the most,” said Titan coach, Corry Canales.
“Andrea Williamson is an attacking player, but is also very versatile. She can play just about anywhere that I put her. One time, when our goalie was unable to play she stepped up and did a good job there. They both team up to work well together,” Canales added.
“It has been a good year for us so far. In the last month we have played a lot of tournaments and done really well against teams that (in years past) we wouldn’t stand a chance against,” said William-son.
“I am a senior, but this is only my second year of water polo. I’m more of a swimmer (than a water polo player), but I wish I had played all four years of water polo. Swimming is all individual and this is the first team sport that I have ever played. I like depending on my teammates around me. It’s fun working with a whole bunch of girls and I feel really close to them.”
Nuñez, one of the few members of the team that does not swim for Eastlake during that season, echoes Williamson’s love for the camaraderie found in water polo. When you hear them talk, it is obvious that these two players are squarely in each other’s corner.
“Victoria has the job of guarding the person who is set up right in front of our cage. She blocks a lot of the shots taken by that person. She is very competitive and we depend on her a lot,” Williamson said.
“Andrea is a great offensive player. She is constantly stealing the ball from her defender and then is the first one down the pool on the counter-attack. She is very fast and scores a lot of our goals,” Nunez countered.
Water polo is not the only thing this Titan duo have in common. They are both solid performers in the classroom. Both have G.P.A. s hovering around 3.3 and both plan to attend college. Williamson graduates in June so her college plans are a little more specific. It appears that next year she will attend either San Diego State or Cal State Fullerton. It’s also a safe bet that wherever she ends up, she will be spending a lot of time in the pool.