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@HarvardCrimson Harvard Edu
 

No. 7 Seed Women’s Water Polo Heads to CWPA Eastern Championship

Aisha Price leads Harvard to the CWPA Eastern Championship (photo Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
 The Harvard women's water polo team will travel to Providence, R.I., this weekend for the CWPA Eastern Championship. The Crimson garnered the No. 7 seed and will take on No. 10-seed Mercyhurst in the first round Friday at 2:20 p.m.
                                                                                         
The Tournament
The CWPA Eastern Championship consists of all 13 CWPA teams, comprised of six Southern Division squads and seven from the Western Division. The top two seeds are given to the winners of the Southern Division Championship and Western Division Championship tournaments, while the remaining seeds are determined by the CWPA committee. Tickets for the tournament are available for $25 for a tournament pass and $10 for a day pass.

Day 1 Schedule (For the complete schedule click here)
Friday, April 27, 2012                                         
Game 1 - 9:00 a.m.      No. 8 Bucknell vs. No. 9 George Washington               
Game 2 - 10:20 a.m.    No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Salem International 
Game 3 - 11:40 a.m.    No. 5 Hartwick vs. No. 12 Notre Dame College             
Game 4 - 1:00 p.m.      No. 6 Brown vs. No. 11 Gannon      
Game 5 - 2:20 p.m.      No. 7 Harvard vs. No. 10 Mercyhurst          
Game 6 - 3:40 p.m.      No. 1 Michigan vs. Winner Game 1                
Game 7 - 5:00 p.m.      Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3                                               
Game 8 - 6:20 p.m.      No. 3 Indiana vs. Winner Game 4                                   
Game 9 - 7:40 p.m.      No. 2 Princeton vs. Winner Game 5  

Watch from Home
The CWPA will be streaming all 23 games of the championship using a three-camera setup. The stream will be available at a cost of $9.99 per game or $25 for a tournament pass. To register for the online stream, click here.

Southern Division Championship

Harvard beat Mercyhurst, 12-3, in the first round of the CWPA Southern Division Championship before losing to Brown, 7-6, in a semifinal match. Brown proceeded to lose to Princeton, 9-8, in the championship game, as the Tigers claimed the CWPA Eastern Championship No. 2 seed. The Crimson went on to dominate Bucknell, 15-7, in the tournament's third-place game.

Top-20 Teams
Five teams in the CWPA Eastern Championship are ranked in the top 20. Michigan is the highest ranked Eastern team at No. 10, followed by Indiana (No. 12), Princeton (No. 13), Maryland (No. 14) and Hartwick (No. 17). Harvard has one win against a ranked team this season, a 12-11 overtime victory against then-No. 20 Hartwick on Senior Day April 10.

Harvard
The Crimson (15-10, 4-1 CWPA Southern) is led by a pair of veterans, as junior Aisha Price leads the squad in goals with 59 and senior Devan Kennifer has a team-high 41 assists and 88 steals. Kennifer, who is one of three Crimson with over 30 goals, assists and steals, is also second on the team with 57 scores. Sophomore Shayna Price has tallied 38 goals, 30 assists and 56 steals, while senior Monica Zdrojewski has provided 42 goals, 38 assists and 38 steals. In goal, freshman Ariel Dukes has made 167 saves and has been awarded four CWPA weekly honors this season.

The Crimson vs. the Field
Harvard is 8-3 against the Eastern tournament field this season, including a 2-0 mark against first-round opponent Mercyhurst. The Crimson's three losses, two to Princeton and one to Brown, have had an average difference of just 1.67 goals per game.

Here is how Harvard has fared against each team in the field:
No. 1 Michigan – 2012: N/A – All-time: 2-6-1
No. 2 Princeton – 2012: L, 6-9 (Feb. 11); L, 8-9 (March 3) – All-time: 11-28
No. 3 Indiana – 2012: N/A – All-time: 0-11
No. 4 Maryland – 2012: N/A – All-time: 3-15
No. 5 Hartwick – 2012: W, 12-10 (OT) (April 10) – All-time: 2-27
No. 6 Brown – 2012: W, 7-5 (March 21); L, 6-7 (April 14) – All-time: 55-42-1
No. 8 Bucknell – 2012: W, 14-5 (Feb. 11); W, 13-8 (March 3); W, 15-7 (April 15) – All-time: 16-16-1
No. 9 George Washington – 2012: W, 18-12 (March 31) – All-time: 17-1
No. 10 Mercyhurst – 2012: W, 10-4 (March 31); W, 12-3 (April 14) – All-time: 2-0
No. 11 Gannon – 2012: N/A – All-time: 1-0
No. 12 Notre Dame College – 2012: N/A – All-time: 0-0
No. 13 Salem International – 2012: N/A – All-time: 0-0

What's at stake?
The winner of the CWPA Eastern Championship will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This year's NCAA tournament, which features eight teams, will be hosted at the Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego, Calif., where Stanford looks to defend its title.