SEATTLE, WA -- The Huskies will attempt to do this weekend what they haven't done in 16 years, repeat as Northwest Division champions. This weekend, April 8-9th, the #1 seeded Dawgs are hosting the 2017 Northwest Division Collegiate Club Water Polo Championships at Rogers High School Aquatic Center, in Puyallup, WA. They are currently undefeated in the division and ranked #10 in the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) national poll.
If you ask any of the players on the 21 member team how they feel about this weekend, it would be a unanimous, "Ready." The team which has been training since the beginning of fall quarter, has been going hard all year competing in several tournaments outside the usual three for the CWPA division. They spend 3-4 nights a week training and even get beat up scrimmaging a strong masters team once a week made up of mostly former NCAA players. Each week they come back hungry for more.
"This weekend is a big deal for us," said captain and senior, Lacy Chun (Hau'ula, HI). "On top of it being our first time hosting, this tournament is the culmination of a year's worth of work. Regardless of what happens, we are coming in strong and want to finish with no regrets leaving it all out there knowing we played the best of which we are capable of doing."
The Huskies are expecting tough competition from all the teams in the division but especially from all of the University of Oregon teams who have won the division 10 of the last 12 years.
"Undefeated or not, we are confident because of the work we put in but we are respecting all teams we have to face this weekend," offensive stand-out Mary Elizabeth Ward (So., San Rafael, CA). "We wouldn't see Oregon or Oregon State until the championship, but we have to get there first. And to do that we have to play Oregon B or our own B team both of which are very tough."
This is the first time in the program's history that the Huskies have added a B team to the division; who has also been very competitive in their inaugural season, securing the #5 seed in the tournament.
So what's been the focus in the final days before the tournament? "Competitive greatness."
Or as coach Rudy Ramirez puts it, "Play your best, when your best is needed. All year we stress that our measure of success is not wins and losses but whether or not we play to the best of which we are capable of doing. To that end, this is just another tournament, so relax and go for it."
The tournament kicks off Saturday at 12:15pm, as the host team, the University of Washington Huskies, open the tournament against the University of Oregon C. Below is a complete schedule of the tournament matches. Come show your support by purchasing one of the team supporter shirts or tank tops at the tournament. All proceeds go directly to funding the program.