Palisades High School senior Elena Saab was selected by her water polo teammates to be captain this year.
Coach Kirk Lazaruk told his players the selection should be made, not on a person’s year in school nor on scoring, but rather “A person who has worked really hard and is worthy of being captain.”
One only has to chat with Saab to see why she was selected. Not only is she effusive, she also barely had time to talk before her teammates were clamoring for her to come back and join them in practice, because they wanted her leadership.
A swimmer for 12 years, first on Westside Aquatics and then also for PaliHi, Saab tried water polo three years ago, because her sister Clara was on the team. Saab was an instant convert and maybe prefers the spot to swimming because of the team dynamic and interaction.
“Your practice benefits the entire team and vice versa,” said Saab, a utility player. Some of her captain duties include talking with the referees before the game, serving as a role model for new players and planning team bonding activities.
What do bonding activities include? Well, she helped plan a team holiday party last Thursday at a swimmer’s home. The team went ice skating on Friday, and on Sunday, they attended a USA versus Netherlands water polo game.
“We have a really good shot at winning the CIF City title,” Saab said. “We have high expectations.”
She is one of four children of Peggy and Sammy Saab. Her oldest sibling, Ken, attends UC Santa Barbara; her sister Clara, who graduated from PaliHi last year, is at Creighton University; and her younger sister, Adelaide, is an eighth grader at Paul Revere—and plays water polo.