Dexter Water Polo Starts Season 3-1 at Early Bird Invitational

By: Seth Kinker,

On Mar. 16 the Dexter Dreadnaught Girls Water Polo team (3-1) wrapped up their first tournament of the new year, traveling to Pioneer High School for the Early Bird Invitational.

Dexter sophomore Jackie Wyka, pictured right with ball, takes a shot against Okemos at the Early Bird Invitational at Pioneer High School on Mar. 16.

A tournament that allows the team to see opponents it either wouldn’t normally see or wouldn’t see until the postseason, the Dreadnaughts emerged from the weekend with a 3-1 record to start their season. 

They defeated Mason on Mar. 15 before playing three games on Mar. 13. The Dreadnaughts won against Holt/East Lansing and Rockford before dropping their final game of the tournament to Okemos. 

After only winning a handful of games last year, this year’s team looks to build upon a season that only saw them lose two seniors. 

Senior Allison Wyka was the leading scorer on the team as a junior and led the Dreadnaughts in scoring at the Early Bird Invitational. She should see help this year from sister, and sophomore, Jackie Wyka who third year head coach Kait Verbal said made strides this offseason to earn a starting lineup spot.

Defensively, two senior defenders will be hard to replace. Verbal told The Sun Times that’s part of what the Early Bird Invitational was for, to see who fits where. Verbal mentioned junior Alyssa Frost as someone who had stepped up to fill the defensive gaps left as well as senior Becca Clark.

Verbal said that even with it being the first tournament of the year, she’s noticed a different mental toughness and maturity in the way this team plays. 

Despite dropping the last match of the day, Verbal wasn’t discouraged.

“I’m so beyond proud of them,” said Verbal. “Last year at this tournament we went 0-4. The foundation we’ve been working on building the past few years has shown itself this weekend. The maturity of our team really shows, not getting in their own heads, that really excites me as a coach. The poise they played with without getting too hard on themselves.”

The Dreadnaughts next play at home against Walled Lake on Mar. 21. 

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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