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Kate Rodman of Corona del Mar High girls’ water polo commits to Santa Clara

Kate Rodman of Corona del Mar girls' water polo has committed to play at Santa Clara University.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Kate Rodman has grown up with an identical twin sister, Sophia, in and out of the water.

The Corona del Mar High seniors dove into the sport of water polo at around age 8, with Anteater Water Polo Club, now known as Back Bay. At the time, both played in the field, so Kate wore the No. 8 — which rhymed with her first name — so coaches could know which Rodman twin was which.

Almost a decade later, Kate still wears No. 8, but she doesn’t need it to make a name for herself.

Kate Rodman has verbally committed to play Division I water polo at Santa Clara University, she said Tuesday.

“I really like up north, just from going to [Junior Olympics] up there, that whole area,” she said. “It’s a super-quick flight home, but it’s a good distance away. Santa Clara is all-around a really great school, and I liked that it’s a smaller school, too. It just seemed like it offered a lot for me and it seemed like a very good option.”

Kate, an attacker, will be entering her third year on varsity this year and second year starting, if there is a season. The Sea Kings have been unable to practice since Newport-Mesa Unified School District went back to distance learning on Jan. 4.

Kate hopes she can emerge into a senior leadership role if there is a season. She said she and her teammates are eager to rebound from last year’s disappointment. A year after making the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title match, the Sea Kings went 12-16 in 2019-20 and failed to advance to the postseason.

Corona del Mar has a new head coach, Olympian Melissa Seidemann, and substantial returning talent led by the Rodman twins and fellow seniors Grace Myers, a UCLA signee, as well as Kaity Greenwald (Harvard) and Kat Snyder (Hawaii).

“It’s really cool to have [Seidemann] as my coach now,” Kate Rodman said. “She’s a great coach. I feel like it’s easier to learn from her, because I know she does the same thing too. She goes to morning practices before she coaches us. When we have a hard swim set, it’s like, ‘Oh, well she probably did the same thing this morning.’”

Seidemann, meanwhile, is appreciative of what Kate brings to the table.

“Kate is a pleasure to have on the pool deck.,” Seidemann said in an email. “She is dedicated and coachable. I know she is thrilled to be committed to Santa Clara and we are so proud of her at CdM. I look forward to watching her continue to grow as she finds her way as a contributing member of the Broncos squad.”

Kate Rodman of Corona del Mar girls' water polo hopes for a senior season before leaving for Santa Clara.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Kate and Sophia remain close. Sophia, who is now a goalkeeper, is exploring college options closer to home in Southern California, said their mother, Nancy.

Wherever their roads go, they won’t be far away.

“I think it’s going to be weird, but I’m just glad that Santa Clara is an easy flight back home,” Kate said. “It’s not super-far.”

“We’ll Facetime all the time, too,” she added with a laugh.

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