Denney pursues passion for water polo at UC Santa Barbara


Photo provided by Kristen Denney

Denney goes for the ball in a game during her freshman year.

Hana Wong, Staff Writer

Senior Kristen Denney has been Carlmont’s attacker on the varsity water polo team for the past four years.

For years, Denney’s natural talent for water polo has gotten her recognition from her peers, friends, and recruiting colleges such as the University of California Santa Barbara where she is now committed to.

“I got into water polo because of a friend. I picked it as my main sport because I had a natural talent to play it, I loved the team, and the aggressive aspect of it in the pool,” said Denney.

A few years passed, and high school rolled around for Denney. Denney decided to play for Carlmont’s team as well as her club team.

Throughout Denney’s high school seasons, Denney didn’t feel the need to “stand out” in order to get recruited to colleges.

“School wise, there was never a high pressure, but club pushed me a little, but it was for the best and they help[ed] me get recruited,” said Denney

In October 2014, Denney was recruited by UCSB, a Division I sports college for water polo and fully committed to the school this past January.

“I am very excited for her; it will be such a great experience for her to be part of a Division I team and to play the sport that she loves,” said senior Katelyn McGrath.

Throughout the years, water polo has taught Denney many different life skills such as good leadership and time management. Denney believes that the sport has been able to help her grow as a person.

As Denney’s leadership skills grew, she became a valuable asset to Carlmont’s varsity water polo team for the past four years.

Going into the season, Denney always tries to be positive and optimistic towards her team.

“Kristen is definitely a valuable player; she’s the reason we all played so well together,” said senior and teammate Samantha King.

Along with water polo, Denney also decided to swim for Carlmont’s swim team. Soon after her first meet, Denney also discovered her talent for another water sport.

“When it comes to leadership and time management, I think water polo and swimming are similar. But they’re completely different sports. I look at swim as if it were conditioning,” said Denney.

Even though Denney is frequently praised for her talent in the pool, Denney never lets her ego get in the way and tries to act herself as much as possible.

“Kristen is always smiling, every time I see her. She always tries to find positivity in every situation, and is always up for helping as much as possible,” said senior Pierre Llorach.

With her love of water polo always on her mind, Denney is excited to see where the sport takes her in college.



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