EHS GIRLS WATER POLO: Seasoned veterans fill graduation gaps

It may be hard to replace the Hornets’ leading scorer and all-state honorable mention Lindsay Bowden, who graduated, but Enumclaw High girls water polo coach Bob Averill thinks he has three strong arms in returning seniors Erin Stucker, Ali Ballard and Kelsey Sonneson.

Bowden, who now suits up for the Cal Lutheran Regals, scored 71 of the Hornets’ goals last season.

“Stucker, Ballard and Sonneson combined for more than 100 goals in 2010, and we expect they’ll improve on that in 2011,” Averill said. “We’ll look for other veterans to shoot more, as well.”

Of the 13 players in the water this spring, 11 are veterans and six have club water polo experience.

Seniors Alexis Firlotte and Alina VanRuff return to the lineup, as do juniors Annie Birklid, Logann Erskine and Hannah Kinninburgh and sophomores Allie and Katie Larrea and Sydney Olson.

Newcomers to the team include Bella Davenport and Megan Lesmeister.

The Hornets also must fill the hole in goal left by the graduation of all-state honorable mention goalkeeper Shaye Hogerhuis.

The Hornets finished the 2010 season with a 13-9-1 record and made their fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament, where they finished seventh.

This is the first year in many, Averill will not be joined by co-coach Ken DeMan. This season, EHS girls swim coach Ann Bettencourt is helping out.