Julia Ponce

Why and when did you start playing water polo?
I began playing water polo for Stanford water polo club when I was 8 years old. It’s been a family sport, so my oldest sister Elise started with Stanford as a goalie, and my younger sister Alana and I followed in her foot steps.

Why do you love playing water polo?
I love playing water polo because I love the water and I found that I was better at water sports than I’d ever be on land, but since my dad started me out so young, my love for the sport has just grown so much. And being a part of Stanford and having the coaches I did just made me love the sport more and it made me want to get better.

Do you remember any advice any coaches gave you that has stuck with you?
“Water polo players don’t cry”. That has helped me with staying strong throughout the entire game. I’m pretty sure that advice was given to me when I wanted to give up in a game because it was too hard and I was super upset. That was in my earlier stages of polo though!

Do you have any advice for me and any young players?
Never give up on yourself, your teammates, or your coaches.

What position did you play?
I’ve been a field player, mostly as an attacker/driver.

Did you play with the club all the way up to the 18s?
I moved to Washington in 2010 when I was 14, so my last JO’s was with the 14 and unders. I’m nineteen.

Did you play for your high school team, or join a club over in Washington?
I played both high school and club in Washington; swim as well. I did a year round kind of thing. All 4 years I went to the state championships for high school and we won 3 out of 4 years.

When did you figure out you wanted to play in college?
I’ve wanted to play collegiate polo ever since I was old enough to know about it. [Julia plays at Fresno Pacific University]. Playing in college was my main goal, actually.

So do you plan on coaching after college, or are you already coaching, or something else?
I’m actually minoring in coaching at Fresno pacific alongside my education major(liberal studies). And since I am home for the summer I was just offered some coaching opportunities for the highschool I played at! So I’ll be starting that next week!

So after school, do you plan on coaching?
I do plan on coaching as well as teaching, so I’m hoping to fit both of those in my schedule. But I would love to just coach as well.

What schools did you attend?
I went to middle school at st. Raymond’s in Menlo Park, right across from sacred heart high school. Then I went to Gig Harbor High School in Washington.

Do you plan on staying in gig harbor, or finding someplace new?
I have thought about playing international water polo, but that’s a dream I’ll look into more next year. But I do want to come back to Washington and make this my home most likely! I would like to travel before I settle down, though.