Water Polo Excels in Division Championships

The women's water polo team huddles during the Division Championships. Photo courtesy of Ana Lee Pokrzywa.
The women’s water polo team huddles during the Division Championships. Photo courtesy of Ana Lee Pokrzywa.

The Emory women’s club water polo team hosted the Southeast Division Championship April 8 and 9, finishing second out of six teams.

Emory won its bracket, but fell 13-4 in a hard-fought battle against the No. 1-ranked University of Central Florida “A” team in the final.

The Eagles built a 6-2 record during their regular season, earning them the No. 3 seed heading into the Championship.

In Emory’s first bout April 8, they pounded the University of Florida’s “B” team 16-2.

Their next match was a nail biter, but Emory pulled off an upset over No. 2 seed the University of Florida “A” team 8-7. Emory’s triumph earned them the opportunity to compete for the Southeast Division title against the University of Central Florida’s “A” team. This marked the Eagles’ first time in the finals since 2003, and a victory would have meant a spot at nationals.

Junior defender Lucy Baker explained that their success is a team effort, made possible by their diverse array of athletes.

“I coordinate the defense along with our goalie [sophomore] Alison Gartley,” Baker said. “[Forward senior] Julia Caldwell is one of our best outside shooters.”

Baker also mentioned why their second-place finish meant so much to the team.

“We were really pleased that we beat the University of Florida because we haven’t done that in a long time,” Baker said. “We were bummed that we lost to Central Florida because we wanted to go to nationals, so it was a bittersweet weekend.”

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