Water polo dedicates game to mental health awareness

Otters lose 10-5 to Northridge

The California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) women’s water polo team was defeated by visiting California State Northridge, the No. 25-ranked team in the nation, 10-5 in a game dedicated to raising mental health awareness on Feb. 17.

Before the game, all players were given a chance to write why they feel they matter on a banner that said “I matter because…” The referees and staff members for both teams were wearing green ribbons for mental health awareness. Attendees were also offered green ribbons to wear to show support.

The Otters started the quarter of by giving up three consecutive goals all to Matador Dorottya Telek (#15). Monterey Bay could not stop the Matadors’ strong offense and defensive front until the last minute of the quarter when goalie Megan Taylor (#1) saved two shots on goal along with Autumn Day (#10) scoring one goal.

The second quarter followed a similar trend as the Otters managed to score another goal, with the Matadors only scoring one. Going into the half the Otters were down by only three goals, however they could not hang on to the Matadors’ level of play and were outplayed and outscored 6-3 in the second half. The Otters fell to 2-5, while the Matadors improved to 6-3.

During halftime, CSUMB volleyball players Jackie Wahl and Kaila Uota were given a platform to promote The Hidden Opponent club (THO), a nonprofit national organization aiming to raise awareness and address student-athlete mental health and the stigma within the culture of sports. 

Wahl and Uota opened CSUMB’s first chapter of THO and are serving as the club’s campus captains. They strongly believe in the message of the organization and want student-athletes at CSUMB to know they are not alone and have a safe place to come to if need be.

“We as student-athletes want to shine light on mental health being just as important as physical health and to honor the lives lost as a result of lacking mental health services within athletics,” said Wahl.

If you are interested in joining the THO chapter at CSUMB follow @tho_csumb on Instagram for more information.

For more information on upcoming games, visit otterathletics.com.

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