Girls Water Polo has been dominant for years in our local area, but Naperville North just won the first state championship in 2021. These Fast Facts are presented by BMO Harris Bank.
On May 29th 2021 Naperville North won the city’s first state championship in girls water polo, a sport that has been IHSA sanctioned since 2002.
While the Huskies were the program that lifted the state trophy for the first time, several local teams have come close.
The first school to make it to the state tournament was actually Neuqua Valley back in 2002, the year of the first ISHA tourney. The Wildcats fell to Mundelein in the quarterfinals. The following season, Neuqua earned a state trophy by knocking off St. Viator in the quarterfinals and Homewood-Flossmoor in the 3rd place game.
Naperville Central has the most state quarterfinal appearances with 11, the first coming in 2005. The Redhawks also have six state trophies under longtime head coach Jeff Plackett. A 4th place finish in 2008 and third place in 2010. Central has been the state runner up four times, first in 2009, then 2012, 2016, and 2017. The 2016 and 2017 losses both came in heartbreaking fashion as the Redhawks fell to Fenwick 13-12 in double OT in 2016 and again in double overtime in 2017 to Stevenson 14-13.
Naperville North now has four girls water state trophies under head coach Andy McWhirter. The Huskies first made a state trip in 2004, but fell to Fenwick in the semi finals and Evanston in the third place game.
It took another 14 years for the next state semi final appearance for the Huskies. In 2018 the blue and orange fell to Stevenson in the semis, but defeated Loyola Academy 11-9 to win the third place trophy.
The following year, North defeated New Trier in the semi finals, before falling to Stevenson once again in the state championship game.
This year, the Huskies finally broke through. Naperville North rolled through Lyons in the quarters, New Trier in the semis and ended Stevenson’s three year reign with a 15-6 state title game victory. At 29-0 it’s not just the best season in Naperville history, it’s one of the top performances the state has ever seen.
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