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Players, coaches shocked and disappointed as CSU East Bay discontinues women’s water polo team

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) — Disappointment is running high among the players of the Cal State East Bay women’s water polo team.

After a successful season and making it to their conference championship just last month, they were told Wednesday that the season was their last.

The university told both players and coaches, it was dissolving the team.

Incoming senior Rachel Heredia said the news felt like a punch to the stomach.

“It feels like they drove us to the middle of the desert and just left us there,” she said.

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Swimmers from Acalanes High School are now asking the North Coast Section to change their deadline policy for the championship in this weekend’s meet.

Heredia says for her, the team was about more than just playing the sport she loves.

She tells us it was a way to spend time with her teammates, who have become her best friends.

“Not only are these girls here to compete, but they have built an incredible culture,” said assistant coach, Clarissa Wandinger. “They have a really great bond with each other, with me and our coaching staff.”

The school’s athletic director was unavailable for an interview Monday night.

The university sent ABC7 News a statement which reads in part:

“Cal State East Bay continues to take steps to become more efficient and implement cost savings across campus due to a number of factors, including enrollment shortfalls.”

The statement also says the university will still support the athletes who are returning.

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That includes continuing to honor any scholarships or helping them find other schools to transfer to if players want to continue their water polo careers.

This is an option rising Sophomore Audrey Dexter is considering.

“I just need to see what type of opportunities I get moving forward in the next couple of months,” Dexter said. “I have a very short time frame to make a decision.”

Dexter says given that its so late in the year, many other teams already have their rosters selected.

So while she’s unsure of what she’ll do next, like the rest of her team, Dexter says she’s just hoping for the best.

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