UC Davis water polo star discusses record-breaking season
Some call her “Greta the Great.” Others call her “Greata.” But you can just call her Greta. For junior center Greta Kohlmoos, scoring goals is almost second nature.
Netting an explosive 62 this season, Kohlmoos has tied her goal total from her first two seasons combined and is currently the seventh all-time goal-scorer in UC Davis water polo history. With plenty more games left in her career, she still has the potential to climb even further up the record ladder to potentially become one of the most prolific players to compete in a UC Davis uniform.
Kohlmoos possesses all the tools that make for a terrific water polo player. In the pool she is aggressive and gritty on the attack, penetrating deep into the heart of the opposing team’s defense while using her strength and savviness to hold her threatening position close to the goal. She is fierce and intelligent on and off the ball, demonstrating an excellent feel for the game. She is a decisive swimmer, knowing exactly where to position herself to get the ball, where her teammates are and, of course, where the net is.
On dry land, Kohlmoos is approachable, outgoing and downright friendly. Her radiant positivity and amiable personality makes it impossible not to smile and laugh along with her, making it easy to forget her level of intensity when in the water. She is a prime example of a team leader, one who always praises her teammates and is committed to the success of her team.
With one final game to play, Kohlmoos and her squad are 15-16 this season. The team is set to compete as the fourth seed in the Big West Championship Tournament that will be hosted at Schaal Aquatics Center in Davis, starting on April 28.
The Aggie sat down with Kohlmoos to ask her about the stellar season she is having, her journey as a player and how she feels about the team this year.
You have caught a lot of attention in the athletic world for the career year you are having. Has this season so far been a blast for you? Or have you found it to be more of a challenge with all of the talented teams you are facing?
I think it’s been fun because it’s been more challenging. I’ve gotten a lot more experience in games as opposed to the last two years I have been here, so that’s helped a lot. Every day is so much fun and I learn so much every day.
You’ve been a consistent scorer for this team over the years, with 30-plus goals in each of your first two seasons. How have you made the jump this year to scoring over 60 goals now? What do you think made the difference?
Like [I mentioned] in the last question, being on the team for two years, I learned a lot and I didn’t play as much as I have been playing this year, so the playing time [this season] has definitely helped with that. But gaining the experience the last two years and going up against these tough opponents has really prepared me for this year and playing against the tough competition we’ve faced so far. And also my teammates are amazing, and they’re so strong, so just playing against them every day [in practice] has made me a lot better.
How did it feel to be awarded Big West Conference Player of the Week back in February for your incredible performance at the Aggie Shootout? What does that award mean to you?
It felt really good. I had no idea I was even nominated that week, so I got a text from my coach on Wednesday. She’s like, ‘Congrats!’ and I was like ‘For what?!’ So I had to actually go look. So that felt really good. It’s definitely really nice to get acknowledged by the conference for something that I have been working toward every day in practice, and it’s just also something that really helps me visualize and see how my hard work is paying off.
Scoring a lot of goals is something that is not all that new to you – you scored 152 back when you were a senior at Granada. Do you think that the skills you harnessed in high school have helped you find success here? Or has it been a completely different game at the college level where you have had to alter your play?
High school really helped prepare me to be ready to fill a leadership role, in that sense. The girls I was playing with — it was a whole mix — it taught me to adapt to certain situations being on that high school team and really be creative with how I played. So coming here, it was definitely kind of a shock to be on a team with some of the best girls in the country. Being at Granada really prepared me mentally to come here. But physically, I would have not gotten to where I am today without the girls that have been on this team the last three years.
Your fellow junior, Paige Virgil, is close behind you in goals scored this season and was also a conference player of the week. Do you guys have any special relationship as leaders of this team and as offensive threats?
She’s a badass. Paige and I get along really well outside the pool as well as inside the pool, so that really helps translate. I think it’s super important where, if you’re friends with someone outside of the pool, the chemistry shows in the pool. I think Paige and I, as soon as we got here, we kind of clicked offensively. She’s such a big threat outside that she can draw defenders to her like that. But at the same time, if I’m working and digging down at set, it really helps to open her up too if they’re trying to drop back on me.
I know the conference championships are coming up fast. How is the team and how are you specifically preparing in order to finish this year off strong?
Two days a week we’re coming just for an hour of conditioning and that has been a tremendous help at getting us physically in shape for that tournament. Also, just going into it we’ve been watching a lot of game film and seeing what the patterns are with some of our opponents. It also helps that we can look back on our conference games from the last couple weeks and see how we can attack certain teams in different ways to gain the advantage in the conference tournament play. And also, we’ve been really focused on trying to maintain positive attitudes in the water because positivity goes a long way. We have to approach this tournament like we’re going to win it. We can’t go into it thinking, ‘Uh… I don’t know, maybe…’ No, we have to go in like, ‘We got this. We’re gonna going to NCAA’s,’ which is what we really want.”
Written by: Dominic Faria — firstname.lastname@example.org