Water polo club prepares for 2008-09
Squad to start tourney play in 2009
August 6, 2008
Wilmington head swimming coach Trip Breen said water polo hit Quaker water after some persistent shopping by people who had plans but no goals.
"Really it all started when I attended a high school swimming meet at what use to be the Jewish Community Center in Trotwood, Ohio. It is now the United Theological Seminary," Breen said. "I knew that the JCC was closing and up for sale, while at the meet I noticed the Water Polo goals. I doubted that the goals were ever used, so I asked about purchasing them.
"To make a long story short, the JCC refused to sell the goals because a deal was already in the works with the United Theological Seminary. Fast forward two years, I contacted UTS about the goals, and they agreed to sell them to us ... at a great price. They seemed happy that they were going to be used and that we were so excited about getting them."
With nets to shoot upon, Wilmington's water polo team was in business — booming business that did not come as a surprise to the patriarch of WC aquatic athletics.
"I knew that water polo would be a big hit at WC, a new sport that would be attractive to swimmers and other students who enjoy competition and team sports," Breen said. "I was right. Our co-ed club roster is comprised of 24 players from all backgrounds. The sport is fun and very competitive. We started by adding it as a Spring HPE class in 2007. I knew immediately that we had enough interest to pursue club status.
"The HPE class of 2007 played our first intercollegiate competition that same spring. We were awarded club status in the fall of 2007. During the 2008 season, our first as a recognized club, we played three games and a scrimmage — two against Ohio Wesleyan, one against UC and a scrimmage against the Ohio Squirrels water polo club."
The club is a clever blend of diversity and similarity. The student-athletes come from all directions, but share a common bond: the desire to compete.
"It's fun, fast-paced and competitive. The game incorporates a lot of different skills. Teamwork is incredibly important as well," Breen said. "Last year the team was comprised of athletes from several different varsity sports — swimming, soccer, football, softball and basketball. We also have students who got interested in the game after taking the class. It is interesting to see the different athletic backgrounds and skills come together to benefit the team. The soccer players set up passing lanes well. The swimmers move the ball and set up fast breaks. The basketball players drive and defend well. It is a great mix, and they bring the best out in each other. We also are fortunate to have several players who played in high school, and as we continue, I would like to see more players on the team with experience."
As we continue? Where is water polo headed on the Wilmington College campus? Forward, Breen says.
"In 2009 we plan to start tournament competition," Breen said. "I firmly believe that the team will draw new students to the college. We will continue to improve and offer a great experience to those who make a commitment to the team."