After the COVID-19 shutdown last spring, Dana’s sports seasons were devastatingly cancelled. Throughout quarantine, it was challenging for many Dana athletes to try and find different ways to stay physically fit and keep their mentality in check. Sophomore Sadie Riester was able to persevere, and she has made the best out of the situation given to her.
“Riester started out at the OC Waterpolo Club, and eventually worked her way up to playing in the Junior Olympics.”
Riester has been playing water polo for roughly six years, ever since she was introduced to the sport by her father, who played throughout high school and college. Riester started out at the OC Waterpolo Club, and eventually worked her way up to playing in the Junior Olympics. Riester states that she has had “a lot of incredible experiences playing in the Junior Olympics, but [her] favorite part is definitely the team bonding.” She went on to explain how when you and your teammates put so many hours of hard work in every week, you can really work together and unite once the tournament arrives. Riester explains that “it is so rewarding when you and your team play to your full potential and know what everyone has worked for was worth it.”
Making a varsity sports team is always a challenge, and to make one as a freshman is especially impressive. Riester recounts that she has “had lots of fun playing varsity water polo as a freshman, but there were some drawbacks. It was hard guarding strong seniors as a freshman, but in the long run, the struggles were worth it. [She] was able to learn from the best at a young age.”
During quarantine, Riester and a few other girls from her team decided to engage in club swimming to remain fit. Riester reveals that “swimming made it a lot easier to transition back into water polo practice.” She is still swimming on the side to ensure that she will stay in the best shape possible.
With almost all sports, training has been significantly different due to all of the COVID-19 restrictions. There is no contact allowed, and Sadie explains that makes it “hard to practice water polo without even being able to play defense, so [they] have mainly been conditioning.” Once COVID-19 restrictions lighten up and seasons are allowed to resume, Riester is “most excited to finally play a game again,” as many athletes are.
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