In 2018, everything the UNSW Wests Killer Whales touched turned to gold. From a minor premiership in the 2017-18 OVO Australian Water Polo League, they took their first ever premiership. From there they went on to win Divisions 1 and 2 of the Sydney Winter Metropolitan League, followed by winning Division 1 of the Sydney Summer Metropolitan League.

They rounded out the year with a win in the Ladies Open Canberra Cup, a national competition which the team had attended for 14 years and never made finals, let alone taking out the entire tournament. Unsurprisingly, the Killer Whales also took out the Team of Year Award at the UNSW Blues Dinner and Sport Awards last month.

After backing up with a strong 2018-19 season in the Australian Water Polo League, the Killer Whales are poised on the edge of a back-to-back premiership. A win in Saturday’s semi final at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre will put them into Sunday’s grand final and just one win away from a dream consecutive trophy.

UNSW Wests Killer Whales celebrate winning the 2017-18 OVO Australian Water Polo League
UNSW Wests Killer Whales celebrate winning the 2017-18 OVO Australian Water Polo League

While the turnaround seems short, co-captain Lea Yanitsas says the team will be prepared to back up. 

“The quick turnaround is not too uncommon for waterpolo, we have had similar time spaces throughout the season,” she said. “It is very important that we do a good job of promoting the best recovery. Which will involve a solid post game warm down, good nutritious meal, ensuring everybody gets what they need to wind down and then a good sleep. I believe emotions are all part of it. Each of us may need different things in the lead up to the next game and generally we leave it up to the girls to know themselves and what they each need.”

Her co-captain Daisy Carter believes the team is in a great position to take out the title for the second year running.

“We have talked a lot over the last two years about being relentless and not ever becoming complacent,” she said. “I think if these attitudes stay with us throughout the weekend, we are very hard to beat. We need to play our game and nobody else’s. We need to take it one game at a time and focus on ourselves more so than the opponent. Communication will be key for us, ensuring that we are all on the same page in attack and defence.”

Meanwhile their male counterparts, the UNSW Wests Magpies will also take to the pool for their semi final on Saturday. Coach Andrew Yanitsas feels his team is in a strong position to take out this year’s premiership. After only two losses during the regular season, they are carrying some impressive momentum into finals.
“We had a very hard training phase leading up to easter to ensure we were ready,” said Yanitsas. “Along with this we were able to play some competitive matches against opposition vying for a finals spot.”

Both teams will be ready for action when Saturday rolls around. They will need the entire #TeamUNSW community around them, so check the details on the Events page and get down to support our teams as they go for glory.