A senior center and captain, Sekulic was the Eastern Prep Water Polo Tournament Most Valuable Player in both 2019 and 2018. In the championship final last fall, she scored 13 goals in EA’s 16-8 win against Lawrenceville. She is also a member of the Tigers Aquatics Club, Mavericks Water Polo, Greenwich Aquatics and USA Women’s Youth National Team. An honors student at EA, Sekulic also participates in EA’s Vocal Ensemble, a select choral group, and is part of a leadership group for Speak-Up. Born in Serbia, Sekulic has lived in the United States for the past six years.
Q: What do you think is currently the strongest part of your game? As a center player, what area of your game are you working on the most?
A: My legs are definitely the thing that always keeps me in the game. Right now, and always, I am working on the speed of my overall release. I get a lot of coaches telling me that I focus too much on creating a perfect release point, instead of just releasing the ball earlier. This is a really important thing for me to learn, because the crash is much faster on higher water polo levels.
Q: Tell us a little about your water polo training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your off-season training, and how did you handle that?
A: Summer is usually the time of the year when I can focus on water polo the most, because school is out. I usually go to Junior Olympics with a club team and go to ODP camps, which are all in California. During summertime I am able to play against girls that challenge me and from which I can really grow. Unfortunately, since everything has been cancelled due to COVID-19 my brothers and I were desperate to just get in the pool and swim. Luckily, we were able to practice with the Buxmont Water Polo club in Reading. However, the key part of water polo was missing – physical contact. So even though we were lucky to at least get in the water, it was more like a conditioning then an actual water polo practice, and due to the situation we were in there was simply nothing we could do about it.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your training with the EA water polo team this fall? As a captain of the EA girls water polo team, how do you feel you can best display your leadership this fall?
A: Right now we are practicing Tuesdays and Thursdays only, because the boys and middle school are using the pool as well. On the days I am not in the water I try to do a dryland workout by myself, or with my brothers. However, I really am hoping that we will be able to have some games or maybe even a tournament in the spring. This fall I am looking to encourage the girls to keep up the high intensity in the pool and gym. It will be hard because we are back in school and we won’t have the common goal of beating another team or winning a tournament. Even right now, we are unable to even scrimmage because we need to be social distant in the water. I will work my hardest to lead by example while we all fight through these rough and unexpected times.
Q: Tell us about your very first water polo contest with the club Tas 2000 in Serbia, and the challenge it presented to you. How old were you at the time?
A: My first game was at the end of July 2012, when I was 9 years old. I remember that I couldn’t foul and a girl stole my ball. I remember my team losing by a 30 point difference and being really frustrated at the end. Losing was not the main reason as to why I felt like this. It was because I knew that the opposing team put no effort into defeating us. This memory is so vivid because after that game I told myself that I will never allow myself to be beaten like that.
Q: Tell us a little about your strongest memories of Serbia. Do you ever go back there? What were your first impressions of the United States when you and your family moved here?
A: My strongest memories of Serbia are in my neighborhood with my brothers and the kids we played with. We had the most amazing adventures in the woods behind our houses. I am really blessed to have grown up the way I did. I go back there as much as I can, but it’s hard with so much going on with school and water polo. My first impression of the U.S. was that life here moved quickly. It was a bit intimidating at first, but after some time I got the hang of it. Although, even though I’ve been here for six years, I still feel that I am adjusting.
Q: What is your favorite course at EA? What would you like to major in at college?
A: My favorite course at EA is Honors Anatomy and Physiology, which I am taking this year. Right now, it looks like I want to major pre-Med or at least follow the pre-med path, although I am not yet certain with what I want to be when I grow up.
Fun facts – Jovana Sekulic
Favorite author: Jane Austen.
Favorite TV show: Gossip Girl and Shameless.
Favorite movie: Mulan.
Favorite place to visit: “My home – Serbia.”
Favorite pre-game meal: “My mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup.”
Person I most admire, and why: “My uncle Zoran- he is like my real life superhero.”
Family members: parents Goran and Sladjana, brothers Matej and Luka.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)