Women's Water Polo Makes 2010 Debut Friday
Feb. 11, 2010
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's water polo team opens the 2010 season against Villanova at 7:15 pm at the Bucknell Bison Invitational in Lewisburg, PA, Friday night.
The Colonials will then battle Wagner at 12:45 pm and Siena at 4:30 pm Saturday to round out play at the Bucknell Invite. GW will go for its sixth straight victory over Villanova after taking the last five meetings dating back to 2007.
Head coach Scott Reed's team is coming off a solid close to the 2009 season after topping league-rival Bucknell, 12-11, in overtime to finish in third place at the CWPA Southern Division Championhip and 6-21 overall. Seniors Emily Chereson, Sarah Fitch, Marissa Stamler, Bernadette Karandy and Tara Sullivan will look to carry last year's season-ending momentum into 2010.
2010 GW Women's Water Polo Season Preview
The 2010 season ushers in not only a new decade for the George Washington women's water polo team, but a new venue as well. Renovations to Charles E. Smith Center Pool were completed in time for the men's fall season and now the Colonials' women's team gets its turn in the enhanced facility. The venue features improved lighting and ventilation, new chair-back seating and team locker room - all enhancing the experience for players and fans.
Head coach Scott Reed is confident this year's team is experienced and talented enough to return the program back to where it finished its inaugural season a decade ago - battling for the CWPA Southern Division title and competing in the Eastern Championship. "We have a lot of experience, the goal is to use that and apply it to have a successful season."
With eight upperclassmen returning and five underclassmen adding depth at every position, Reed is aiming for a team-oriented approach this spring. "We're hoping to spread our scoring around, with a pair of all-conference players in sophomore Allison Peotter and senior Marissa Stamler leading the attack. We're also looking to be one of the best defensive teams in the conference."
Peotter and Stamler accounted for nearly half of GW's goals and points in 2009. Peotter became the first GW freshman to earn First Team All-South honors after pacing the team in goals (49), points (84), steals (75) and swim-offs won (70) last season. Even after a standout rookie year in which she also set the program's single-season mark with 35 assists, Peotter is embracing a set-up role to make the Colonials' attack more well-rounded in 2010. Stamler was named to the All-South Second Team for the second consecutive season, totaling 42 goals and 27 assists as a junior.
Adding to the attack are senior Bernadette Karandy, junior Erin Delker and freshman Jessie Hurd. Karandy and Delker combined for 13 goals and 23 assists last season and are expected to spark the counterattack with their speed. Hurd, a native of The Woodlands, TX, is an intelligent, poised rookie expected to contribute immediately. Also joining the attack is sophomore Monica Hanson, a transfer from UC San Diego who dished out six assists with the Tritons in 2009.
Senior Emily Chereson, junior Melissa Sesana and sophomore Megan Walker will form a three-player rotation at center. Chereson thrives on creating man-advantage opportunities and already ranks second all-time at GW with 113 ejections drawn. Walker enjoyed a solid rookie campaign, ranking second behind Chereson with 34 ejections drawn and third on the team with 27 goals.
Defensively, the Colonials will rely on seniors Tara Sullivan and Sarah Fitch at utility and junior Charlotte Schou in goal. Sullivan provided a boost in the attack with 16 goals and 26 assists, third-highest on the team behind Peotter and Stamler, while Fitch ranked third on the team with 38 steals last season.
In her first season as starting goalkeeper last spring, Schou finished with 286 blocks, just five shy of the single-season school mark. Much improved sophomore Antonia Raris, who totaled 27 saves in eight quarters of action last spring, and freshman Rebecca Kipnis, will back up Schou in net.