W. Water Polo Surprises Out West

After a week in California, most people would be unhappy to come back to the dreary life at Harvard.

For the women's water polo team, it was not quite the same. The women traveled to California over spring break to face Pomona, Occidental, UCSD and Cal-Poly in the Pomona Invitational Tournament March 25-26.

The team fared well in the tournament, beating Occidental, 18-1, and Cal-Poly, 9-7 before falling to both UCSD and Pomona by large margins.

On the whole, the results were promising as Harvard was the only East Coast team at the tournament in a sport dominated by the west coast. The team finished the tournament in seventh place out of twelve.

"Overall it went really well," senior co captain Kate Maloney said. "Especially because there is a big stereotype that the West Coast has more experience and nobody wanted to lose to an East Coast team."

In the latter part of the week, the team scrimmaged Claremont, without keeping score, and had rematches against Occidental and Pomona.

The results were much of the same, as the team beat Occidental and Lost to Pomona.

Despite the success on the trip, though, the team was excited to get back in the Eastern time zone in time to focus on its season-long goals of getting to Easterns and then to Nationals.

"Our team is coming together really well," freshman Missy Ford said. "After a week we had amazing improvement. We played much better and have lots of depth. We're really looking forward to Easterns but they will be really hard because lots of teams are really close."

After this past week of ups and downs, the team is getting ready for the Massachusetts Tournament Amherst this weekend and its home tournament next weekend at Blodgett Pool.

But the big goal for the team this year in Nationals.

These two upcoming weekends will be the real test for the team, especially the home tournament, at which Harvard will face its toughest competition for the one available spot to Nationals.

Harvard's top competition will come from Brown, Maryland, Bucknell and Wesleyan.

There are actually two spots available for the top two seeds from Easterns but the women have all but conceded the top spot to perennial powerhouse Slippery Rock.

"Slippery Rock has won Easterns for something like the past eight years," senior Jen Gahan said. "They are a dynasty but second place is up for grabs."