Ransom Everglades girls' water polo team gave Grace Waibel '19 – the team's lone senior, team captain, unquestioned leader and de facto big sister – a sweet parting gift as she concluded her Raiders' water polo career on May 11 at Boca Raton Community High School. Waibel and her teammates arrived to the pool thrilled to be back in the state championship after a two-year absence and left with gold medals hanging around their necks after an 11-6 defeat of Winter Park High School.
Waibel, who inspired the team during the regular season with tenacious defense that resulted in a team-leading 56 steals, contributed two goals, three assists and two steals, helping RE to its eighth girls' water polo state title under Coach Eric Lefebvre. Head of School Penny Townsend presented Lefebvre and Waibel with the victory plaque and handed out each medal.
The Raiders' title victory followed two straight years of losses in the regional playoffs to Hialeah High, last year's state champion. RE faced Hialeah again in the April 26 regional final, this time prevailing with a hard-fought 10-9 victory, which featured a game-winning goal by Waibel and last-minute saves by Claudia Pinilla '20. Before that game, Waibel wrote personal notes of encouragement to each of her teammates. RE moved on to score an 11-1 victory over Lake Nona in the May 10 semifinal led by three goals by Sarah Mesa '20. In the final, the Raiders jumped to an 8-1 lead and held on as every player contributed. Preston Edmunds '20 led the scoring with five goals. Emanuelle Dooreck-Aloni '20 scored two, and Meredith Hutchinson '20 and Karin Belausteguigoitia '20 each scored one.
"Our stats are spread out because everybody on our team contributes," Lefebvre said. "Grace's outstanding performance at state paralleled her leadership all season."
Coaches Lefebvre, Robin Escobedo, Chelsea Johnson '14 and Doc Crabtree jumped in the pool when the buzzer sounded, joining the entire squad: Isabel Almada-Sabate '21, Belausteguigoitia, Olivia Byrd '21, Aliyah Cohen '22, Camille Devaney '21, Dooreck-Aloni, Edmunds, Peri Gould '21, Cecilia Grande-Scott '22, Amanda Harris '22, Alexa Hommen '22, Hutchinson, Claire Medici '20, Mesa, Pinilla, Megan Sabates '22, Ana Sannia '20, Sabrina Shipley '22, Dylan Stone '22, Waibel, Mary Logan Woolsey '22.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.