In July, a group of Harker water polo players made up of rising seniors Karan Das-Grande, Ryan Hume and Gilad Nilo along with rising junior Stephan Pellissier, competed at a tournament in Hungary, one of the world’s hotspots for the aquatic sport.
As part of a club team from Sacramento, the students performed well at the tournament, taking fourth place overall and defeating a Hungarian team and another American team in the process. “The way the Hungarian teams play is a lot more physical than most other U.S. teams. If you’re against another player in America, you usually don’t wrestle with another player unless you’ve got your hand up to catch the ball or if you have the ball,” Pellissier said. “There, though, it is a lot more physical. You spend a lot more time fighting underwater with the other player.”
The students had plenty of fun during the trip as well, partially because the tournament was hosted at a water park. “When we weren’t playing, we had a blast going down the water slides,” Pellissier said. The trip also gave the students a chance to enjoy the rich local culture, including an Olympic museum, centuries-old churches and a museum that is reputed to have once been a holding place for enemies of the state.