Water Polo optomistic for successful season

By Burcu Sahin

Having warmed up after their spring trip in Southern California, the Scots are very hopeful for the season. Satisfied with the team’s ending results, they are already thinking about a possible return trip to the nationals.

Macalester went 1-13 on the busy spring break trip. The team played fourteen games in seven days against competitive small college teams and even had some Division I competition. Fatigue was imminent once returning to Macalester, but a mix of talented veterans and new players returned with high ambitions, especially now that they have the help of Associate Head Coach Doug Jetton.

Katie Mertz ’10 emphasized how well Jetton prepared them for the tough competition in California. “It is great to know that our coach cares about us. He doesn’t only try to do his job, but he loves the sport and makes us have fun playing water polo,” she said. “Most importantly, he also knows when to become strict in the pool clarifying the team goals.”
Sofia Shaw ’09 said she wants the team to do its best not only for its members, but because of Jetton’s hard work and patience with them.

Shaw talked about how well their spring trip went. “We were a lot better at our spring trip this year,” she said. “First of all, this year was more competitive. We got to face great competition and gained a lot of knowledge from it. Second of all, the games we lost had pretty close results. I feel like we had kind of crashed last year. This year, we were obviously more confident and in better shape. We did a pretty good job, as Coach Jetton is also proud of us.”

Kait Sheridan ’09 highlighted that the team did not get to practice a lot before the spring trip. “We actually used the games in California as practice for the season,” she said. “Since we proved there that we are a good team, I am very hopeful for the Carthage Invitational set which will take place this weekend.”

The team is sure of a good result in the Midwest Region Championships, Apr 20-21, which is its most important competition of the season. Shaw and Sheridan said they are very happy to have an experienced first year class and believe that freshmen will help them a lot this season.

Elena Bulat ’07 said, “I had not played water polo until arriving on the Macalester campus. And most of the upperclassmen also had not had any experience in water polo before entering the team, but this year our freshmen show great expectations for our team’s future since they all have a water polo background in high school. I think our experienced newcomers will give opponents problems which will help our team to continue on its way.”

Sarah Ellerton ’10 said, “Macalester has a small water polo team with its 10 players, but still I am pretty convinced that we will do great job, even though I do not know the rivalry a lot.” Ellerton also added that the upperclassmen are so friendly and helpful that the first year class adjusted to the team very quickly. “All freshmen players are ready to do their best and very eager for the coming games,” she said.
Shaw added, “I personally want the team to be able to play very well together. Thanks to our spring trip we became a real team. It is a good sign for our tournaments. We all play for the team, try not to panic and make ourselves relax. As long as we support each other, we deserve a very good result in the Midwest Region Championships.”

Bulat named the only challenge as not having a pool on campus. Otherwise, she is also very hopeful for this season. “Our main goal is trying to earn a berth in the Division III nationals in California, but other than that we aim to gain as much knowledge as possible during our all games and play well,” she said. “Fortunately, we have a very knowledgeable coach.”