Water Polo starter exudes dedication in and out of the pool

As one of only two seniors on the water polo team, Megan Myers has made a name for herself in the pool and in participating on the NCAA D-II Student-Athlete Advising Committee (SAAC), both of which she spends a great deal of time doing.

Myers has been in the water all of her life, but it wasn’t until a friend encouraged her to join her high school water polo team that she discovered her love for the sport. She began her journey as a sophomore in high school and played for the duration of her high school years. During her junior and senior years, she started looking for institutions where she could play. She found Azusa Pacific and was able to make it onto the team as a walk-on.

Head coach Julie Snodgrass, reflects on Myers’s first year on the team. She said that even though Myers hadn’t played as much as others her age had, her determination got her a spot on the team.

“It was something that she definitely grew into,” Snodgrass said. “All of that hard work paid off.”

During her freshman year at APU, she earned a starting position halfway through the season. By the end of her freshman year, she was recognized as the team’s freshman of the year. Looking back, she attributes much of her success to her teammates.

“I definitely wouldn’t be able to have a success in the water without a team behind me,” Myers said.

Since her freshman year, she has held a starter’s position throughout her entire APU career, continuing to remain humble in her endeavors. Though she is senior captain this year, she doesn’t necessarily feel pressured by her team. Instead, she feels encouraged by them, which prompts her to do the best she can. She recognizes that in order to win, the team must support one another; and support is one of the team’s core values, along with trust, effort and accountability.

Coach Snodgrass explained that Myers was voted captain because she exudes these values on a daily basis and urges her teammates to do the same.

Myers mentions that it has been a great pleasure to play beside her team of 15 girls, especially center Alex Paxton. Paxton is the other senior on the team who has been playing alongside her for four years. She said that they have grown from their challenging years, and that it has been great to have someone by her side going through everything with her.

In their match against Santa Clara, the two seniors registered two hat tricks in their 10-9 overtime win. Myers scored 3 goals, and did the same in their following match against Fresno Pacific last Thursday. As a result, the water polo team is now at an overall record of 13-11 on the season, and 3-2 in conference.

“She’s tenacious in the water,” Snodgrass said. “She is always looking to apply and learn and grow, and she has a strong desire to succeed and for the other girls to succeed.”

Snodgrass said that Myers is always putting in extra work by staying late at practices and asking questions. According to Snodgrass, Myers has a hard work mentality; in that, she always tries her best and doesn’t stop. During one of her Christmas breaks at APU, Myers was in the water with bronchitis. She missed one practice and went home to get a shot before getting back in the water the next day.

“She has contributed out of the water in ways that are not going to be noticed by everyone else until after they finished being her teammate,” Snodgrass said.

Mireia Tutusaus Alcaraz, a freshman on the team, appreciates Myers’s techniques and skills. As a player who came from Spain where water polo is played differently, she said that Myers was one of the main teammates who helped her make the adjustment.

“She really encourages us to give our best not only in the games, but practices as well,” Alcaraz said.

Myers has also made the All-Academic team for conference over the past three years.

As a part of the student athletes advisory board at APU, Myers also works with other sport teams and their team members. The NCAA D-II SAAC, has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in an effort to raise money for athletics.

Earlier last month, Myers helped put on an on-campus fundraising event, “King and Queen of the Zu,” to assist in their financial goals for APU athletics. As it was a first-time event, Myers spent all of the semester planning for it.

The board has also spent time in the community and at elementary schools, helping and assisting young children.

Myers looks to support her team for the duration of their time together and anticipates her various duties as a part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board.

The Cougars’ next match will be on April 13, at San Diego State University.

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