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Men’s water polo drops anchor on maiden season

November 15, 2013

Monmouth College Photo / Water polo competes in the Southern Division Championship.

After a hard-fought weekend at the South Division Championship, the maiden season for the Fighting Scots Men’s Water Polo team has come to a close. Hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., the Fighting Scots dropped two matches and won one in a weekend of rematches.

The Scot’s first opponent in the tournament was the first opponent of the season, the Washington and Jefferson Presidents. The improvement of the season showed as the Scots played the rematch closer than the initial match-up. The first match-up of the season ended in an 18-10 Scot’s loss. Overcoming a pectoral strain to freshman starter, Kyle Bradbury, Scots battled to the end with an 11-7 loss.

Heading into the second game of the weekend, the 10th seeded Scots were the favorites for their rematch with Salem International University. The prior match-up saw the Scots ride Raheem Brown’s five goals to a 14-12 overtime victory. Brown’s efforts once again catapulted the Scots into the win column. Firing seven goals, Brown led the Scots to a 14-12 win. The Scots, down by three to start the second half, were able to gain on and eventually overcome Salem’s offensive attack.

“That was a game we had to turn things around. We were down four to zero in the first quarter. They were taking the game pretty easy…and I told them ‘turn it up a notch’ and we started rolling from then on. Eventually we were able to put them away,” said head coach Josh Dunn.

On Sunday, the team hopped back into the pool to take on Notre Dame College. Jumping out to a 4-1 led early in the first quarter, the Scots were not able to match the offensive output of Notre Dame and ultimately dropped the match, 27-14. “It was a brutal way to end the season,” said Dunn.

But Dunn’s praise and optimism for the present and future of the team is relentless. “We were a first year program, the guys did an excellent job this whole entire year. They really learned that club is a lot easier than varsity. It’s a whole different animal at varsity.”

The weekend saw Brown lead the Scots with 21 goals scored. “He had an excellent weekend, he really stepped up and was able to put away the ball. He’s a very talented player. He has no trouble scoring, he’s one of those guys who can overpower people and put the ball away,” said Dunn.

The Fighting Scots water polo team will now enter their first varsity off-season. With only four players not transitioning from water polo helmets to swim caps, the winter season will be begin by on beefing up those players not in the water. “The guys in the off-season right now we’re going to be working on lifting and focusing on developing ourselves to be a lot stronger and bigger overall in the water,” said Dunn. After the swim season, the other 12 players will join them in training hard.

With a season under the belt, the off-season will provide the keys to improving for the team’s sophomore year.
“The guys know the level of play that they’ll be expected to play at,” said Dunn. “We hope to move up in the rankings and surprise some people.”

Chase Mowery
Copy Editor

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