There is a lot more water polo ahead for Lizzie Hansen and Becca Reynolds, senior co-captains for the Justin-Siena High School girls team.
The two were honored by Justin-Siena after signing national letters of intent to play college water polo starting next year.
Hansen, a utility player-attacker, signed with UC San Diego.
Reynolds, who plays the center position, signed with UC Davis.
“They’re two of the top five players in the (North Coast Section) and (Marin County Athletic League),” said Justin-Siena’s first-year coach, Fabian Camacho. “They are amazing – two such high-caliber players. I really can’t wait to see them play in college.”
Hansen and Reynolds each signed their letter-of-intent last week. A ceremony honoring them was held on Tuesday in the Gasser Center.
Justin-Siena, a very young, inexperienced team with the exception of Hansen and Reynolds, went 13-6 overall and advanced to the NCS Division 2 playoffs. After beating Sonoma Valley in the first round of the playoffs, 14-7, the Braves lost to Alameda, 10-9.
Justin-Siena won the MCAL water polo title.
Hansen and Reynolds have been named to All-MCAL teams in the past for the Braves.
“It was a fantastic year, an amazing season,” said Camacho.
Hansen and Reynolds both played very well during the 2017 season and were also key in helping assist Camacho with the development of the younger players.
Reynolds scored a team-leading 80 goals, averaging 5.3 goals per game. Hansen was second on the team with 63 goals, averaging 4.2 per game.
Hansen and Reynolds are also members of the Davis Water Polo Club.
“Lizzie and I have been playing water polo since the eighth grade,” said Reynolds. “She’s been my best friend since.”
UC San Diego had its 2017 season come to an end with a 6-5 loss to Wagner in the first round of the NCAA National Division II Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championships in May at Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego.
“I’m just grateful that I get to go to my dream school and play a sport I love,” said Hansen, who is a resident of Sonoma and has a 4.43 GPA. “It’s exciting, just because I’ve been playing for a pretty long time. I’ve put in the hours, going to camps on my weekends. It’s exciting to see that it’s paying off. It’s also exciting to be able to know where I’m going to college so soon and have that security.
“I’m just happy that I get to play.”
The Davis Water Polo Club plays in tournaments all over the state.
“With such an inexperienced team, she was one of the main leaders and taught other girls how to play the sport properly,” Camacho said of Reynolds.
Reynolds is proud of all the work she has put into her game.
“All the hard work paying off is the most special part,” said Reynolds. “Just knowing that all the faith that my coaches and my parents have put in to get me to where I am is paying off.
“I like the intensity of the game and that it’s different than any other sport I have ever played.”
UC Davis lost 10-9 to Hawaii in the third-place game of the Big West Conference tournament last year. The Aggies ended the season at 16-18.
“Having to balance both sports and academics is really hard, but I am very lucky to get that chance,” said Reynolds, a Napa resident, who has a 3.7 GPA.
Reynolds is a team leader for the Braves.
“If teams did not know us, and if they did not double team her, she would have put 10 goals in the first quarter easily,” said Camacho. “A lot of people just think of her as an offensive player. But she comes to play defense.”