With tough competition staring her in the face during water polo matches, Sammy Moeller digs down deep and unleashes some grit and aggression of her own when the ball is splashed into play.
The Mercer Island High School (MIHS) senior absorbed that crucial game plan from her older sister, Abby, who also played the sport with the Islanders and now competes on the club scene at the University of Washington.
Moeller followed her sister into the water polo realm her freshman year and has assumed co-captain duties for the squad this season along with fellow senior Natasha Rodwell.
At press time, the MIHS club team was 8-10-1 overall and 3-7 in Division 1 of the high school league and holds a fifth-spot ranking in its division. Last season, the Islanders were proud of their fifth-place finish at the state tournament, Moeller said.
Coach Calvin White gave some insight into what Moeller brings to the table each time out: While leading by example, she is, “always willing to grind out a set or workout to get her work in so she is ready to play her best come game day. She is always spinning the tunes at practice or during pre-game.”
Added Moeller, who also thrives on the soccer pitch for the Islanders: “The best part about water polo is just the team overall. Since it is kind of a small team, we’re super close and we have such a great bond. And just the supportive community really just makes it so much fun.”
On the scoring front, Moeller has notched a pair of hat tricks this season and netted five goals in one game last year. Like in soccer, having a good awareness of the playing field has helped her succeed in the intense and adrenalized water polo matches. Soccer has kept her fit and that translates well into the pool, said Moeller, who had to revisit her swimming strokes from when she swam as a youngster.
As a captain, Moeller said she keeps the positivity, intensity and communication flowing with her teammates. She gave a shout-out to sophomore Kiera McGuire, who is a solid player with a nose for the goal.
Following this season, Moeller plans to continue playing either soccer or water polo in college on the club or recreation level. The sports are fun, keep her busy and they’re great activities for forming friendships, she said.
The Reporter asked Moeller a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her life:
What’s your most binge-worthy TV series that you would recommend to someone?
Oh, definitely, “Stranger Things.” I re-watched “Stranger Things” so many times.
If you’re having a bad day at school, how do you break out of that?
I usually have water polo right after school, so that always kind of puts me in a good mood. Or I would come home and rest a little bit; always talk to some friends or family, that always makes me feel better. Also breaking a sweat, like working out — I think that kind of breaks up the day for me.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Jennifer Lawrence, I think she’s so funny and cool.
What’s a super power you’d like to have?
Either flying or being able to read minds.
What’s a hidden talent that you have?
I’m really good at parallel parking.
What’s your dream vacation spot?
Probably in the Maldives or Mykonos — somewhere warm.