The Journey Continues
Poly Water Polo player makes it to the next level with top college program University of the Pacific
Every athlete dreams of making it to the next level, the trials and tribulations that an athlete goes through is different for each one. Former Poly Water Polo player Aristiania Modica exemplifies the grind of starting from the bottom, and then reaching the next level. Aristiania has an amazing journey. I called her for an interview to talk to her about the next move in her exciting water polo career.
Aristiania a long beach born and bread local started swimming at a young age. She told me that swimming is in her blood as her whole family were swimmers. When she reached high school however she knew she wanted to change.
Aristiania said that telling her family she was switching to water polo was one of the hardest decisions she had to make. She started her water polo career 4 years ago beginning at Lakewood High School and playing for Huntington Beach Water Polo Club. Then after two years at Lakewood she decided she needed a change and then transferred to Poly.
Aristiania described it as one of the greatest things she ever did. When she got to Poly she had to play a season on JV due to the transfer eligibility rules. Aristiania credits her coaches Bill Brightenburg and Ryan Rourbacher for helping start to change her game. When she reached Varsity she had first year head coach Brandon D’Sa. “That all helped change my game and I owe the credit to my coaches,” Modica said.
“That is just the type of player she is, not trying to take credit and do what is best for the team,” D’Sa said.
D’Sa described her as the type of player that would stay after practice and work on things with her coaches. That she would put extra work in the pool regularly. The work she put in shows and she had a stellar senior season. With 40 steals and 20 assists from the Utility Driver position she was very productive which led her to getting noticed by colleges.
She was recruited early on and led her to pick a very good water polo school in the University of the Pacific. Located in Stockton, California, University of the Pacific was an easy choice for her as she told me it is a good private school, medium size, and has great academics. She is a student first, but it also helps that Pacific has one of the best teams in the country finishing the 2018 season with a national ranking of 7. She was offered a spot on the team and took it.
Her dream of reaching the next level came true. Coach D’Sa believes that she has tons of potential and knows she can make it to the next level if she works hard enough.D’Sa also told me that he hopes she carries the Poly legacy to the next level and that she will always have a place to come back to.
Picking up a new sport in High School and getting a scholarship out of the sport is fulfilling her dream. For Aristiania it has become a reality. With her Coach saying such amazing words about it is hard not to think big for her career. I do not know much about Water polo but Aristiania has found herself a new fan. I can not wait to see her make Long Beach proud.