Palm Desert, CA
The Xavier Prep girls water polo team made program history this past season by making it to the CIF Southern Section Division 5 finals. Senior goal keeper Savannah Jessup helped lead the saints the entire season by being the eyes of the defense and holding it down in the net to take our "My Thai Athlete of the Week".
I just did everything I could to block the balls." Jessup explained. The girls really helped out on defense too, it was really strong. It wouldn’t have been without the girls though and I was just there to back them up if they missed and some girl allowed a shot to be taken."
We wouldn’t be where we got in the finals without her and despite we lost in the finals, she was playing at a different level." Head Coach Pavol Valovic praised. "After league play ended, she really stepped up her game. She was just I don’t know, phenomenal. I think that would be the word I would use. We would make mistakes defensively and she was there to save us. Huge credit to her, we got where we got because of her."
The story behind how Jessup found the sport is what makes her career truly unique.
"My freshman year, Pavol (Coach Valovic) was subbing our P.E. class, we were playing hand ball that day and he was sitting there recruiting girls." Jessup joked. "I just happen to be one of the girls he pulled aside and tried to have a serious conversation about water polo with. I just kind of brushed it off. Then sophomore year my friend Gigi, who played freshman year, also encouraged me to go out so I gave it a shot."
It wasn’t until her junior year when Jessup found herself in the net.
"I was actually just a field player and one day our goalie Michelle was out for a tournament so Pavol was just throwing girls into the goal." Jessup said. "When it was my turn to go into the goal, he was he said it was a good spot for me and then I had to play goalie the rest of the tournament not knowing what to do, so it was interesting."
Although her High School water polo career is over, Jessup is ready to start working towards her dream job.
"I’ll be going to the University of Utah in the fall and studying communications." Jessup said with a big smile. "Hopefully I’ll go into public relations and become a manager for a big brand like Cliff Bar or something like that."