As many UR students basked under the Rochester sun last weekend, the men and women of the water polo club hit the indoor pool for this year?s Rochester Invitational. The men and women can boast glory in the tournament, placing third and first respectively.
The three-day tournament began Friday at UR. The women?s team played solo for this tournament and faced only one challenger in the bracket, SUNY Gen-eseo, who they trounced in the first game, 7-4.
A round of freshmen led the offense in scoring.
Leading the pack was Kari Iverson with three goals and Kim Hampton with two goals. Tiffany Siu, a new player to the club this spring,also add-ed to the score with one goal.
The defense also contributed to the win. Freshman Rebecca Wilner hung tough to block attempted shots well to hold the opponent to only three goals.
The women continued their winning streak Sunday morning in home waters.
The UR women wrapped up the game with a score of 4-2. Iverson and Hampton led in scoring again, with Iverson racking up two goals and Hampton contributing one.
?Even though we didn?t have enough girls for substitutes and half of us are still learning the rules, we still beat a team that had a full roster and a coach,? Iverson said. ?We are really excited.?
The men supported the women on the deck as they mentally prepared for action. UR played against Akron at home Friday, winning 10-8.
The men then headed for the Rochester Institute of Technology for the next round of competition. However, the men faltered in their first game, losing to Army with a score of 15-6. Army is a well-respected team in the NY and usually quick in the water, thus outswimming its opponents to record victories.
Despite the loss, UR kicked back in gear and beat Cornell University 5-0 in a forfeit game later that afternoon.
The men returned to home waters Sunday for their final competition against the Empire State Games Open League. UR wrapped up the tournament with a win.
Sophomore and club president Jon Ferland, Take-Five Scholar Scott Peters and graduate student Arristophanis Pallikaris all contributed key plays.
UR finished the tournament third behind Army and Univesity of Toronto. Despite falling short of the championship title, the men feel optimistic about the tournament performances and results.
?We have been tested the past two tournaments by having inexperienced players play a lot, after relying on older players and graduate students in the past,? Ferland said.
?But everyone stepped up and played solid water polo.?
The UR water polo club was founded in 1993 by former student and coach Victor Adler. Since Adler?s departure, the club is run and coached by an experienced student.
Peters has since filled this position and Ferland will take his place after graduation.
The coed club has approximately 20 players, mostly swimmers from UR?s varisty swim teams. However, the club is open to novice and amateur players of all abilities.
The club practices in the mornings for about two hours, three times a week. It trains for its weekly scrimmages against RIT and for five or six annual tournaments ? including the Rochester Invitational, sponsored by local merchants around Rochester. Currently, the players are busy recruiting players for next fall.
?Our younger guys are stepping up to the challenge,? Ferland said. ?We expect to remain strong in the upcoming years.?