Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Woofapalooza
December 9, 2023

Men’s water polo seeded at no. 2 for upcoming conference

The men’s water polo team is making waves as they are set to compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) conference championship on Nov. 17. Currently, the team has a 6-0 conference record which ranks second in the conference. 

The team’s success can be credited to a combination of experienced players, promising newcomers and a strong sense of camaraderie.

Fifth-Year Joseph Addison attributes the team’s success to the maturity of the team as water polo is fairly new to Augie athletics.

“We are a lot better because there were no seniors last season, and we brought in a big class of freshmen that have contributed a lot,” Joseph Addison said. “With everyone staying, we all have another year of experience. I would say we are a lot more mature.”

Despite the difficulties of being a newer team on campus, the team has effectively navigated the bumps in the road. This is because the team has focused a lot on building relationships among teammates and helping First-Year students feel comfortable.

First-Year Rhys Lomax, a player from South Africa, said he has been able to fit in and adjust to the team because of the support he gets from his teammates.

“The season has been different, like adjusting to the play style that America has and the coach, but I’ve made good friends through it,” Lomax said. 

The team also focuses on keeping the same values as years prior and instilling those values into the incoming First-Years.

“The sense of brotherhood that we have, the camaraderie that we had last year [and] the discipline and focus that we have in reaching our goals, I would say those are the values that maintain our culture and to keep what we had last year,” First-Year Mark Addison said. 

Looking back at the season, one of the most exciting things that happened this season was the team’s performance while in California.

“I’d say the biggest highlight of the season so far was beating up one of the top-ranked teams, Occidental [College]when we went out to California,” Joseph Addison said. “It showed us where we were among those West Coast behemoths, and guess what? We aren’t simply near; we are superior. We now know that we can play with anyone.”

As the team prepares for the MPSF conference tournament, athletes in their last year with the team are hoping to go out with a win.

“I’m just watching the team succeed because it’s my final season. I want to go out on top,” Joseph Addison said. 

By winning the conference championship, the team hopes to compete at the Division III national tournament hosted by Augie on Dec. 2-3.

“The hopes are to win the eastern side of the MPSF champions conference,” Mark Addison said. “In doing that, it gives us an automatic bid to the DIII National Championship as one of the four qualifying teams. That’s a goal we’ve had since the beginning of the season that we hope to carry out and fulfill.”

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