The Los Altos High girls water polo team expects smooth water ahead with its new coach.
Katie Buzzetta has been promoted to varsity head coach after one year guiding the girls junior-varsity team. She replaces Seth Tasman, who takes over the boys team after two seasons as girls coach.
“The team is very comfortable with both coaches, so it won’t be hard getting used to a different coach,” senior player Romy Aboudarham said.
Fellow senior Ya’el Weiner added that Buzzetta is the “perfect fit” for the girls varsity team.
“She knows each player and how to work with them individually to improve their skills,” Weiner said. “Not only is she an awesome coach – she’s fun and connects with the team. I think we’re going to have a very successful year with her.”
Buzzetta noted that there is an advantage to having coached many of the players last year.
“I have been able to get to know each player and assess her individual skills and game brain,” she said.
Buzzetta inherits a team that posted a 12-17 overall record last season and finished fourth in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division. The Eagles’ season ended with an overtime loss to Carlmont in the first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Buzzetta played water polo at San Benito High, where she was four-time MVP of the varsity team and as captain led the Haybalers to their first league championship. Buzzetta then played four seasons at San Jose State University. Although she scored more than 100 goals over her final two high school years, Buzzetta was known more as a defensive force in college, winning multiple defensive awards at San Jose State.
Buzzetta intends to bring her focus on defense to her new Los Altos team.
“In my experience, the most successful teams are not those who have an abundance of shooters, but instead those who can run an effective defense all four quarters,” she said.
Besides playing solid defense, Buzzetta expects her veteran players to take on leadership roles this year.
“Having graduated three important starters from last season, our eight returning varsity athletes get an opportunity to step up and establish their roles on the team,” she said. “I am excited for our older, returning girls to raise the bar for the young but talented group of girls coming in.”
The coach has high hopes for the season, slated to begin Sept. 12 at the Autumn Invitational hosted by St. Francis High.
“My goal for this upcoming water polo season is to make it to the top four in CCS,” she said. “With the talent and determination that the Los Altos girls possess, the sky is the limit.”