Lexi Rond sets the record for the most goals scored in CLU women’s water polo history

Matthew Shaugabay, Reporter

Lexi Rond, senior at California Lutheran University is the two-meter offense player on the Regals water polo team. 

Rond has been playing water polo since she was eight years old and is originally from Ventura. She has two siblings, a younger brother and a younger sister.

Before her time at Cal Lutheran she spent a semester at both Santa Barbara City College and Ventura College, but she always knew that she wanted to attend Cal Lutheran. 

“My dad was the former head coach for women’s and men’s water polo at Cal Lutheran. I’ve been around the program for such a long time, so Cal Lu has kind of always felt like home to me,” Rond said. 

In 2019, she earned Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference newcomer of the year, All-SCIAC First Team, and All-America First Team. Rond earned All-America First Team in 2020, and in 2021 she earned All-SCIAC First Team, SCIAC Offensive Athlete of the Year, All-America First Team, and Division III Player of the Year. 

With the most recent women’s water polo season just ending, Rond was also named All-SCIAC First Team and SCIAC Offensive Athlete of the Year in 2022. She was also once again nominated by Head Coach Cody Pletcher for Division III Player of the Year. 

“It’s always really humbling and exciting to see that your hard work has paid off. Especially because I’ve been training so hard for so long. It’s been great to be recognized and I’m really thankful for it,” Rond said. 

Rond’s coaches and teammates have been impressed by the work ethic she’s maintained throughout her Cal Lutheran career.

“She just has a championship mentality. From the first year that she was in conference and she was newcomer of the year, to this year when she was offensive player of the year, she turned heads. She was a dominant force in the two-meter area,” Pletcher said. 

These accolades don’t just happen by accident. An athlete must be very dedicated to their craft and have a true passion for the game that they play in order to be recognized year after year. Senior on the Regals water polo team Kaitlin Gardhouse said that Rond has an amazing work ethic. 

“We’ve played together since middle school, all throughout club, high school, and now college. Lexi has one of the most amazing work ethics I’ve ever seen, and all of her hard work shows in the water with the stats that she has. She’s my best friend and it’s just amazing to see how hard she’s worked, and all of the accolades she’s gotten. It’s awesome and I’m just so proud of her,” Gardhouse said. 

Not only is Rond a decorated athlete, but Gardhouse said she’s a great teammate.

“One of the things that makes her one of the best teammates I’ve ever had is that I’ve never heard her say anything about her individual stats. It’s always about the team and she’s always picking up her teammates,” Gardhouse said. 

To cap off this historic career from Rond, she broke multiple women’s water polo records at Cal Lutheran. One award she got was the most career goals by any women’s water polo player in Cal Lutheran history.

“It’s really exciting. I grew up around Cal Lutheran because of my dad so I know the girl who had the record before and it’s just kind of fun. Coming full circle and being able to break her record, it’s just really cool getting to experience that because she coached me quite a bit when I was younger. It’s such an honor that I’ll be there for hopefully a while,” Rond said. 

With the awards she’s earned and records she’s broken, Rond said her favorite memories from Cal Lutheran would be winning the SCIAC tournament her sophomore year, and taking trips to the east coast with her team.