Revived water polo club sets sights on upcoming tournament

Peter Clark

Treading water while holding huge water jugs and throwing medicine balls sounds like a nightmare to most ordinary people. The Water Polo club team, however, has done this voluntarily in countless practices for the past few months.

Water polo sophomore Nick Shariat says the passion of the sport is what keeps the team coming back.

Illustration: Ruth Hwang

“I really have to boggle it down to the enthusiasm of the players. Water polo is a really small community. It really is asking a lot of these students, knowing that there isn’t going to be a lot of competition, but they come because they love the game” said Shariat.

Shariat also explained how lack of funding has been an obstacle that has limited the team’s opportunities to travel and pursue games against other teams. They managed to secure some money from ASWC, but are still extremely underfunded.

Regardless, the Water Polo team has their sights set on the upcoming tournament they will host April 27 and 28 at the Louis and Paul Harvey Pool. Their opponents include the University of Puget Sound and Western Washington University. At the end of the day on Saturday, the teams will conclude the tournament with a fun game that will involve a game comprised of players chosen at random from each team to form new teams. Water polo senior, Spencer May, says the team is chomping at the bit to play someone else besides themselves.

“Obviously we’re pretty stoked, we have been practicing for a couple months, we have done some scrimmages, and if anything, we are just excited to actually have games with other teams,” said May.

According to May, the team should be an entertaining bunch to watch. The squad has players that have been playing for several years with a combination of other players that are relatively new to the game, but are picking it up quickly. One of these newcomers is first-year Devin Schell, who has been a swimmer all of his life and is now coming into his own as a water polo player.

“Mostly here [at Whitman] I have been learning how to play. I have the swimming ability, and bit by bit I am picking up on things,” said Schell.

While the team is still in the early stages of establishing itself among the other club sport powers such as Ultimate and Lacrosse, they are undoubtedly on the right track. Look for the Water Polo team to use the tournament this upcoming weekend to propel itself to bigger and better things as the years go on. +