With no previous swim experience, Kelly Pender joined Lincoln-Way North’s water polo team her freshman year. Since then, Pender, now a senior, has proven herself as a versatile goalie for the Phoenixes. In the Lincoln-Way North sectional against Lincoln-Way Central, Pender made nine saves.
Head coach Kendra Will says that Pender is a “respectful and hardworking student athlete. She always thinks of her team first [and] I have been fortunate to coach such a great person.”
Name: Kelly Pender
Age/year in school: 18/Senior
Sport: Water Polo
How long have you played water polo? Four years.
What do you love most about water polo?
The competitiveness and the excitement of playing the game; it is also a good workout.
What was your biggest challenge this season? How did you overcome it?
To step up and fill the shoes of some of the great seniors we lost last year.
What was your favorite moment of this season? Why?
Towards the beginning of the year we had a tournament in Oak Park; after three games I had 29 saves and we ended up winning first place.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
I make sure I have a good warm up and stay focused throughout the game.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
My dad. He is always on the sidelines cheering me on and encouraging me when I need it the most.
If you did not play water polo what would you be doing?
I would probably sit around after school and waste a lot of time.
Who is your favorite athlete why?
Patrick Sharp because he is easy on the eyes.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside of water polo?
Reading, hanging out with my friends, and shopping.
Favorite quote of words to live by:
“Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for man” – Colossians 3:23
Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured on TribLocal should email email@example.com.