Water polo looks to make big splash as season comes to an end
Following a strong start to their season, the women's water polo team hopes to conquer the NCWP Championship tournament for the second year in a row
Beginning their season on Sept. 29, the McMaster University women's water polo team knew they had big shoes to fill; the previous women's water polo team was able to finish in third place in last year's National Collegiate Water Polo championships.
The team has been able to record some great scores thus far. The Marauders won a close 6-4 game against McGill University on Sept. 30 and nabbed an outstanding victory against the University of Guelph on Nov. 12 with a score of 8-1.
The team is made up of predominately first-year players as well as some from other years who are joining for their first season.
“For a large portion of the team, it’s our first year playing on the team. So it's been a harsh adjustment at the beginning. But taking that into consideration, I think we’ve done super well getting to know each other and working as a team to build our offensive and defensive game,” said first-year player Karima Al-Aoussi.
The team also has a new coaching staff this year. Former players Jordan Brydges and Nicola Colterjohn have come back to McMaster to fill the recently vacated coaching position left by Quinn Fairley.
Fairley was a long time coach with the Marauders' water polo program and left a strong legacy after his 26 years coaching the team. He was key part of the Marauders' last NCWP run, helping them win a bronze medal and showing strong support for the women's team.
“We have a new coach as two graduated players, Nicola and Jordan, are coaches now. So it's nice to have players who have played on the team who know how it is and what the other teams are like,” said Al-Aoussi.
Even with these changes, the team is looking to compete in a big way in the upcoming NCWP championship, which will be hosted by the University of Ottawa from Nov. 24 to Nov. 26. Per Al-Aoussi, the team is working to improve their weaknesses, particularly on the offensive end in front of goal.
“I think one of our biggest struggles is our offense. We get the opportunities and we do the work, but we don’t always get that finishing goal,” said Al-Aoussi.
In preparation for the upcoming championships, the Marauders have worked hard in practices to make themselves a stronger unit.
"I think that looking at past games and how we’ve practiced, in the upcoming tournament [the team will] have good results," said Al-Aoussi.
As the season comes to a close, the team along with their coaches hope to finish their season with a strong finish in Ottawa.