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Don't Ignore Women's Water Polo



Admittedly, womens' varsity water polo is a seldom-covered sport; occasionally, errors in fact will occur. However, as we approach the beginning of the 1996 season, I believe it is appropriate to bring up a serious error made in your publication last year.

In a sport that is dominated by teams from the West Coast, the fact that last year's team from Harvard came in eighth at the National Collegiate Championships is a remarkable feat. But to write, as you did, that this was the "first-ever" appearance for Harvard is simply incorrect.

Specifically, to make such an error is in fact an insult to the women and coaches of the 1990 team, which was truly the first team to represent Harvard at the National Collegiate Championships, in its current eight-team format.

This was the same season that saw the team finish second in a more competitive Eastern Championships than exists today (Until 1991, Easterns included all teams from the Midwest, such as Michigan, as well as the traditionally strong Eastern programs). Not only was the 1990 team the first to represent Harvard at nationals, but these women gave Harvard its highest place ever, by finishing sixth in the country.

On a separate but somewhat related note, the 1992 Harvard team received an at-large invitation to nationals, but did not participate. The Department of Athletics' policy at that time was to fund only automatic invitations (such as the one received in 1990).

To point out these facts is not to take away from the accomplishments of last year's women. On the other hand, too many players and coaches before them worked too hard to have their truly historic accomplishments so grossly forgotten. It is out of respect to my teammates and coaches from the 1992, and especially the 1990, teams that I bring this matter to your attention.

Jennifer Sachi Gahan '93-'94

The writer was a member of the womens' water polo team in 1990-1992 and in 1994

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