Women's Water Polo Geared Up for Elite Eight Tournament

Women's Water Polo Geared Up for Elite Eight Tournament

Pictured: Sophomore Devan Kennifer heads into the weekend with 32 goals to her credit.
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

The Particulars:
Harvard travels to Indiana to compete at the Elite Eight tournament, March 6-7. The Crimson will take on Maryland in the opening round. Other teams competing are Brown, Bucknell, Hartwick, Indiana, Michigan and Princeton.

About Harvard:
The Crimson owns a 7-3 record heading into the weekend. Sophomore Devan Kennifer leads the team with 32 goals. Classmate Monica Zdrojewski has buried 25 markers on the season. Four other players have netted 10 or more goals this year. Between the sticks, sophomore Laurel McCarthy has played in all ten games for Harvard and has turned aside 74 shots.

About Maryland:
The Terrapins are 7-3 entering the tournament. Recently, Maryland claimed third-place at the ECAC Championships. Shannon Smirley paces the Terrapins with 15 goals while Maryland has had 12 different players find the put the ball in the cage this season.

Scouting the Field:
Five ranked teams highlight the remainder of the field. Harvard has played two of the other six teams in the tournament this season and is slated to play two more. Indiana, the tournament host, carries a 7-4 record and a No. 18 national ranking into the weekend. Michigan is ranked No. 8 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association national weekly poll and sports a 12-6 overall. The Wolverines defeated Harvard 13-3, Feb. 21, handing the Crimson its first loss of the season. Entering the weekend, Princeton stands at 5-2 and is ranked No. 20 in the national poll. Bucknell, the only other team at the tournament the Crimson has played this season, boasts a 5-3 record in 2010. The Bisons downed Harvard 9-7 in the fifth-place match at the ECAC Championships, Feb. 28.

Harvard’s two CWPA Northern Division foes, Brown and Hartwick, are also participating in the tournament. The Crimson is scheduled to tussle with the Bears and Hawks on four occasions later this season. Hartwick, ranked No. 11 in the national poll, owns a 13-3 record on the year. Brown owns a No. 17 national ranking and is 8-1 heading into the tournament.

Last Time Out:
Harvard settled for sixth-place at the ECAC Championships after losing to Bucknell, 9-7, in the fifth-place match, Feb. 28. Zdrojewski lead the offensive attack with three goals while Ita Barton-Kettleborough tallied a pair of goals. Lizzie Abbott and Elise Molnar each found the back of the net once in the match. McCarthy made four saves on the day while Harvard capitalized on all three of its 6-on-5 opportunities.

Saturday, March 6, 2010                              Game No.     
10 a.m.       Michigan vs. Bucknell                         1     
11:10 a.m.  Brown vs. Indiana                              2     
12:30 p.m.  Hartwick vs. Princeton                        3     
1:40 p.m.   Maryland vs. Harvard                       4     
4:30 p.m.    Consolation Game*                            5     
5:40 p.m.    Consolation Game*                            6     
6:50 p.m.    Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2     7     
8 p.m.         Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4     8    
Sunday, March 7, 2010                                 Game No.     
10 a.m.        Consolation Game*                           9     
11:10 a.m.   Consolation Game*                           10     
12:30 p.m.   Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8         Third Place     
1:30 p.m.     Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8    First Place

* By agreement among the coaches, the consolation games, if possible, will be arranged to prevent Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) divisional opponents (North, South and West) from playing each other.   

Coming Attractions:
The Crimson travels to the Golden State for a string of games. Harvard will play six matches from March 15-20. The team will face Fresno Pacific and UC-Davis, March 15, to kick off the west coast trip.