Since fall, new Coach Larry Zubrin has implemented unprecedented structural reforms to the Middle and Upper School Water Polo programs, folding the 7/8 Water Polo team into the 7/8 Swim Team, shifting the 7/8 Water Polo season from winter to fall, and placing a stronger emphasis during practices on individualized instruction and the mechanics of shooting.
Because Marlborough did not have a water polo program until 2008, it has taken some time to develop widespread enthusiasm for the sport and to train enough girls that the team can be successful.
As a member of the challenging Ocean League, CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Division 6, the Varsity team has not won any games this season but is losing matches by fewer points than they did last season—a testament to their perseverance and improvement under Zubrin. In their most recent game on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the Varsity team lost 3-6 against Torrance High School.
Third-year Varsity player Zoe ’13 said that she was skeptical at first whether Zubrin would influence the team since the Varsity program has gone through so many coaches in the past few years.
“After working with him this season, I have become more confident in the team’s abilities,” Zoe said. “As a player and a coach, [Zubrin] has a lot of firsthand experience with the sport and because of this, I think his guidance is invaluable.”
Zubrin also holds the position as Head Water Polo Coach at Occidental College, where he has worked for the last eight years. Under his leadership, Occidental’s team became one of the most competitive in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), with four consecutive winning seasons.
Prior to the start of his college coaching career, Zubrin worked as a high school coach at El Modena and Laguna Beach High Schools in Orange County.
Upon graduating from Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, CA, Zubrin went on to compete as a water polo player and swimmer at Golden West College and at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he was a two-time NCAA All-American Swimmer.
Furthermore, Zubrin played for the Queensland Breakers in the Australian National Water Polo League and represented United States Water Polo as the coach of the Boys and Girls Orange County Youth teams in 1999-2000, where he assisted in evaluating talent for the U.S. National Team for the Olympics.
Since the Varsity and 7/8 Water Polo seasons began in October, the teams have competed against Beverly Hills, Torrance, Santa Monica, El Segundo and Culver City High Schools. Furthermore, new competitors for the Middle School water polo team include Harvard-Westlake School and Chadwick School.