MEN'S WATER POLO: New Coach, Seniors Help Team Improve
First-year head coach Ted Minnis led the 2010 Harvard men’s water polo team to the most victories in a season since 2007. The Crimson (12-16, 2-5 CWPA) earned third place at the first-ever Ivy Championship and finished the year with a fifth-place finish at the Collegiate Water Polo Association Northern Division Championship.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Minnis said. “You saw us get better every day.”
“We had a really exceptional team this season,” co-captain Bret Voith added. “Both individually and as a team, we took big steps from last year. I think it was a combination of our new coaching staff and the veterans of the team coming together to form a new culture.”
And the veterans did lead the team. Throughout the season, three seniors, Jeff Lee, Alex Thompson, and Voith headed Harvard’s pursuit of wins.
The senior attackers Lee and Voith set the pace for the Crimson in goals, each netting 38 for the season. Thompson followed with 34 goals. As a defender, he led the team with 49 steals on the year.
“We have a big class to fill with the senior class that’s graduating,” Minnis said.
Both Thompson and Voith earned CWPA North Division Player of the Week honors.
A fourth senior, Eric Taylor, who was added to the roster from the swim team, helped the team when injuries left gaps in the squad. Two sophomores, Antone Martinho and Max Eliot, were out for almost the duration of the season.
“There were many times we were low on numbers due to injuries, but we still found ways to dig deep and play hard,” Lee said.
Throughout the season, Harvard relied on its speed.
“One of our strengths is definitely our speed,” Lee said. “We can swim as fast if not faster than most teams in the country, and that’s something we are proud of.”
Midseason, the Crimson took a trip to California for a five-game weekend, playing against top-ranked teams.
“It was a big testing point for us,” Voith said.
Returning to the home state of 10 of the 16 men on the roster proved to be a relative success, as the team came away from the weekend with a 2-3 mark. The loss against Pomona-Pitzer was especially close, with Harvard narrowly falling, 10-9.
“This year’s trip really showed [that] all the work was paying off,” Voith said.