F&M water polo hosts National Water Polo competition, ends Fall season

By Sophie Afdhal ’15, Associate Sports Editor

The F&M water polo team hosted and competed in Water Polo Nationals this past week. Teams from all over the nation attended the competition. There were representatives from the many divisions of USA water polo. The participating schools included Grinnell College, Washington University of St. Louis, Emory University, Wesleyan University, Tufts University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California-Santa Cruz, and the F&M team.

UC-Santa Cruz eventually emerged victorious after the two days. “We were asked to host the event, so as hosts, we got an automatic bid to play. We really are not at the playing ability that is expected at the National level,” captain of the F&M water polo team, Tamaki Silver ’14, said. Silver believes the play can only help their growth.

“Because our team is not as advanced to truly compete at Nationals, I was more excited by the opportunity of playing such advanced teams,” Silver said “Although the scores were not ideal, I think it was a really good learning experience.”

Nationals also served as an opportunity to meet players from around the country.

“In general, everybody was super-friendly when we did have interactions out of the pool, Silver said. “We actually did not really get to know many players from other schools but we did get the chance to hang out with Carnegie Mellon because I have friends on their team.”

Dana Hubbard ’15 also commented on the opposing teams.

“One of my friends from high school was playing for Wesleyan University, and it was pretty cool experience to get to play against her,” she said.

The competition was the climax of the season as it represents the end of the team’s Fall semester.

“While we were not able to win as much as we liked, we had a lot of individual improvements,” Silver  said. “A lot of players were able to score their first goals which is always so exciting.”

The Spring season begins witht he advent of the second semester in January. The team is always open to new members for those interested in joining.

“Water polo does take a lot of endurance in the pool, but it is so easy to learn the rules and to improve with experience,” Silver said.

“The game is intense but the adrenaline rush is incredible.” “As a team we’re trying to build our ability as well as bring an interesting sport to campus,” Hubbard added.

As the season comes to a close, the team is looking forward to its next season and setting goals.

“Our biggest goal is to just keep improving,” Silver said, “We have a very young team and a lot of room for improvement. Every practice, every drill, every game will add up.”

The team looks forward to continuing its growth and will hopefully get another shot at nationals in the future.

Junior Sophie Afdhal is the Associate Sports Editor. Her email is safdhal@fandm.edu.

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