Kate Fox Named Murrieta Mesa Athlete of the Month

Every time Kate Fox joins her teammates in "leg sets" during practice, she remembers how much hard work has paid off in the demand...

Every time Kate Fox joins her teammates in "leg sets" during practice, she remembers how much hard work has paid off in the demanding sport of water polo. As she does 10 sets with her hands in the air, legs kicking to keep her in position for 30 seconds, she is reminded of the reason she got into this in the first place.

"I like it because it's so physically challenging," said the junior. "My parents signed me up for water polo in the eighth grade and I fell in love with it. It gets all my energy out, that's for sure."

For her accomplishments this season, Fox has been named the Murrieta 24/7 January Athlete of the Month from Murrieta Mesa High School. The award is sponsored by the Photos DLite photo studio, which presented her with a free studio portrait as well as one for the school.

Playing the 2-meter position, Fox's main responsibility is providing the last line of defense before the goalkeeper. She has played a key role in the success of the Nighthawks, who are 22-5 overall, including 4-2 in Southwestern League play, heading into next week's CIF Southern Section playoffs.

This is the best season the team has ever had and it's the most wins of any water polo team at Mesa, boys or girls. It's been quite a year for the Rams, who started off with a 21-4 win over Tahquitz High of Hemet and never looked back. The season included four impressive victories against tough competition in winning the Hemet Tournament in January.

Last week, the team tuned up for the playoffs with victories of 11-5 over Great Oak and 9-8 over Chaparral.

"I have to stay focused on my job," Fox said. "I'm the most defensive player aside from the goalie, so my job is to take away the other team's set player so they don't get a shot off. Then I try to work the ball up so we can score."

Fox said the Rams are a tight-knit group, which has contributed to their success.

"We hang out, go out to lunch together, do a lot of things as a team," she said.

Fox wants to continue playing water polo in college. First, however, the challenge of the CIF playoffs awaits.


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