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Surprise on Hoover as Burroughs rolls

Jeff Tully

Hoover High had no idea it was scheduled to take on host Burroughs on

Wednesday in a nonleague girls’ water polo match.

With the match listed on the Indians’ schedule and not on the


Tornadoes’ schedule, Hoover hurried to get a bus and head to

Burroughs when Indian Coach David Cohen contacted Hoover Coach

Jennifer Freemon just two hours before the contest.

After the match, the Tornadoes might have wished they would have


had the day off, as the Indians remained undefeated with a 17-4

victory at the Burroughs pool.

“I had to get all the girls together and tell them at school that

they had a [match] today,” Freemon said. “We had to call all of the

their fifth-period teachers and tell them the girls were not going to

be in class because they have a [match].

“You can see we weren’t ready to play anyone today, because we

only have our practice suits.”


Despite the lopsided score, Freemon said it was beneficial for her

team (1-1) to be able to play a match against an opponent.

“That is the positive, that we were able to play another team

today,” she said. “We can learn a lot more by playing another team

than by just practicing.”

The Indians (3-0) were also able to benefit from playing the

match, as the team used the second half to work on aspects of its

offense -- when it already had a comfortable lead.


In the second and third quarters, Burroughs deliberately passed up

numerous easy scoring opportunities, held the ball for lengths of

time and kept the pressure off Hoover in an attempt to not run up the


“We’ve had the score run up on us before, and it’s not a nice

feeling,” Cohen said. “We see no need to keep scoring just to see how

many goals we can get.

“Instead, we used the opportunity to work on things other than our

goal scoring. We were working a lot on our passing. The entire second

half we were working on our clock management.”

Cohen also said he was pleased with the way his team jumped out to

a quick lead in the first quarter, and kept up the pressure.

“The players really came out strong, especially in the first

quarter,” he said. “We were able to build up an early lead and that

helped set the tone for the rest of the match.”

The Indians took a 7-0 advantage after the first quarter and

increased their lead to 13-1 at halftime.

Burroughs was paced by Ligia Vrena, who had four goals. Teammates

Val Dutra and Christine Hyman added three goals each.

Hoover (1-1) received a good performance from Shana Palencia, who

had three goals and four steals. Its other goal was scored by Ariga


It was Hoover’s first loss of the season, as the team recorded its

first win since December of 2000 on Dec. 4 when the Tornadoes

defeated Flintridge Prep, 9-8, in a nonleague match.