Family ties are waterproof
March 28, 2017
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Family considerations impact myriad decisions in a person’s life, but Cathedral Catholic High School water polo standout Hannah Edwards ‘17 never expected while growing up for family to play such a decisive role in her accepting an athletic scholarship to tread water at Hartwick College.
However, now that she is committed to Hartwick College for water polo, Hannah Edwards will play goalie alongside her sister LJ Edwards, who currently plays set at the upstate New York university.
“She and I have been swimming since we were little, and then she started to play water polo, and about a year later when I was in 6th grade I started playing,” Hannah Edwards said. “I’m excited [to play water polo at Harwick College] with my sister because I love being on the same team as her. We work well together.
“It’s like I block the ball and she scores the ball.”
Growing up, Hannah Edwards played with her older sister for local club teams Del Mar Water Polo and Shores Water Polo, where the sisters always worked well in tandem.
CCHS water polo Head Coach Jacklyn Puccino has benefitted from the duo for the last four years.
“It was a lot of fun having LJ and Hannah on the team,” Puccino said. “LJ provided a lot of leadership and set a great standard of what it means to be an elite level athlete.”
Hannah Edwards stepped into the shoes left by her older sister this past season as team captain.
“Hannah has done a great job continuing to set that example for our team,” Puccino said. “As our captain [this last season], Hannah has stepped into an important leadership role, and she surpassed my expectations for the team.”
With Hannah and LJ Edwards sharing a strong family bond, the two share a chemistry that can be felt in the water.
“The two worked great together,” Puccino said. “Hannah was a tremendous asset for our team defensively, and LJ was a big threat offensively.”
LJ Edwards also believes in the strong bond between her and her younger sister.
“Our Parents called us the Edwards team because of how well we worked together,” LJ Edwards said. “My favorite memory was during a game where [Hannah Edwards] blocked a shot and immediately passed it to me for a goal on the other team. After that, we saw how well we played together.”
All it takes is one look for the dynamic duo, and the two know they are about to do something amazing.
“My favorite memory of playing with my sister was my sophomore year playing in the open division CIF final, which we ended up losing by one point,” Hannah Edwards said. “It was amazing being able to share that moment.”
The two play hard separately, too.
In a recent game against Coronado High School, Hannah Edwards had 23 saves along with a shot hitting the crossbar from across the pool. Shots from goal to goal are nearly impossible to make, but Hannah Edwards attempts to score one every game.
LJ Edwards offensive skills reflect her game play.
The two meter set player was at the half court mark one game. Pressed by a defender, she made a hard backhand from her position. With an unheard of goal, the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
Hannah Edwards signed for Hartwick College with the hopes of making many more great memories in the pool.
Puccino hopes Hannah Edwards can make the most of the next four years.
“I hope that Hannah and LJ really cherish their time playing together in college,” Puccino said. “It’s not everyday you get to play at the next level with your sibling in the same sport. I know they will both perform great at the next level together.
“I hope they push and challenge each other to be the best students, athletes, and people they can be.”