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Sunday, Dec. 10
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Hoosier water polo team to play in Brown Invitational

The IU women’s water polo team moved up two ranks and is currently 13th in the women’s varsity water polo poll.

The Hoosiers will kick off the Brown Invitational, which will be held at the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center in Providence, R.I. Seven teams will compete in the invitational.

The Hoosiers play two matches on both Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, they face off against Brown and Hartwick. They will play Wagner and Pacific on Sunday.

Brown, Hartwick and Wagner will be opening their seasons at the Brown Invitational.

“Today’s practice wasn’t the sharpest we’ve had in the last week,” IU Coach Barry King said. “It’s to be expected, they’re excited for their first plane trip travel of the season.”

The Brown Bears have a very balanced roster and their head coach said he thinks that will be their greatest attribute early on.

“We have depth, balance, cohesiveness — it’s a really tight group,” Brown Coach Felix Mercado said. “They know their roles will change day-to-day and they accept that.”

Senior utility player Kate Woods leads the team, scoring 59 goals last year to go along with handing out 71 assists. She also led the team with 93 steals.

The Bears’ goalkeeper is senior Sarah Shin. She recorded 163 saves in almost 900 minutes of action last season.

The Bears rely on many other upperclassmen players, including senior attackers Sarah Presant and Brittany Westerman and senior utility player Emily McNamara.

“The most important one is the Hartwick match because it counts in our conference,” Coach King said. “Obviously were are going to spend a little bit more time talking about that one.”

The Hoosiers are 9-7 versus the Hawks, including going 3-1 against them last year.

IU claimed its first ever Western Championship with a thrilling last second goal against Hartwick last year.

Hartwick Coach Alan Huckins said his team is focused on winning the College Water Polo Association title and qualifying for the tournament for the first time since 2007.
Three of the Hawks’ top four scorers are returning from last year.

Senior center Sami Capparelli set the school’s record for goals in a season as she finished with 139 last year. She was named CWPA Western Division Player of the Year.

Senior utility player Jemma Dendy Young scored 69 goals, dished out 32 assists, and recorded 92 steals, all of which were career highs.

Senior driver Katie Ermakova scored 50 goals last year, which was good enough for fourth on the team.

Sophomore goalkeeper Michaela Davies made appeared in 26 games last season and started 25 of those. She was a CWPA Western Division Second team selection as she stopped 178 shots.

The Hartwick Hawks are a very dangerous team full of experience that could give IU a hard time.

On Sunday, the Hoosiers will start the day against the Wagner Seahawks.

The Seahawks recently returned from a training trip in Hungary.

“Overall this trip was very successful and has brought all the girls much closer together,” junior attacker Rachel Burns said. “We are looking forward to a great season ahead.”

Lastly, the Hoosiers will face the No. 20 Pacific Tigers.

The Tigers are 1-4 so far to start the season.

Junior utility player Taylor Adair leads Pacific with 10 goals.

Sophomore two-meter offense player Gracie Smith has scored six goals while senior utility player Rebecca Wright has scored three goals.

Sophomore center Candyce Schroder finally appears to be healthy. She said she believes she has improved since splitting her hand open last season.

“From the beginning of the season I didn’t have any setbacks,” she said.

She believes the team is much deeper and the chemistry is better.

Schroder was named the conference player of the week two weeks ago with her strong efforts at the Michigan Kick Off.

Follow reporter Jaylen Johnson on Twitter @neylaJohnsonIDS

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