No. 22 Harvard (0-0) vs. Villanova (0-0)
Harvard vs. Iona (0-0)
Harvard will welcome Boston University, Brown, Iona and Villanova as part of the Harvard Mini (Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 22 Harvard will open up its 2016 campaign Saturday against Villanova and follow with Iona as part of the Harvard Mini. All seven games of the Harvard Mini can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
A Season Ago
Harvard posted one of its most memorable seasons in recent history, posting a 20-13 record, including a 6-3 mark in CWPA play and finished sixth at the CWPA Championship. The 20-win season marked the first time since 2000 the Crimson reached the 20-win mark and was just the third time in program history.
The Friends of Water Polo Head Coach Ted Minnis was named the CWPA Division I/II Coach of the Year, the first such honor obtained by a Harvard women's water polo coach. Minnis also broke the career-wins mark with 87 victories in just five seasons.
Harvard has posted an 11-2 record on the opening day of the season under Minnis. The Crimson has started the season against both Villanova and Iona each of the past five seasons, going 8-2 against the pair.
For the first time in program history, two student-athletes earned All-America status as Yoshi Andersen and Charlotte Hendrix were tabbed to the 2015 Division I ACWPC All-America Honorable Mention team.
Anderson posted a team-high 65 goals to go with 40 assists and 31 steals. Hendrix followed with 58 goals, while adding a team-best 45 assists and 27 steals.
Harvard spent 10 days in Italy for preseason training earlier this month, catch up on their training blog here.
Aye Aye, Captain
Andersen and Eela Nagaraj will serve as captains for the 2016 season. Andersen has led the team in scoring in each of the past two seasons, while Nagaraj has been a steady force as an attacker.
Four freshmen in Sam Acker, Nikki Daurio, Kristen Hong and Colby Stapleton will look to make an immediate impact in the pool on Saturday.
Related Link: Women's Water Polo Welcomes Four Newcomers for 2016 Season.
The Crimson have feasted on opponents the past five seasons at home, going 22-8 overall, including two unblemished seasons.
Villanova posted a 19-16 record a season ago, including a 7-8 mark in MAAC play. The Wildcats ended their season in the MAAC consolation game, falling to Iona, 10-8.
Naomi Nh paced Villanova with 67 goals en route to earning her second-straight nod to the All-MAAC first team. Fellow senor Julie Conrath returns in net after posting a team-high 407 saves.
Iona will start the season with a triple-header, facing off against Boston University and Brown before taking on Harvard. The Gaels posted a 22-15 record last season and went 7-5 in MAAC play.
The Gaels return Hannah Schultz, the 2015 All-MAAC Rookie of the Year and a first team honoree, who led the team with 112 goals. Iona relies heavily upon its sophomore class as eight of its 16 student-athletes are in their second season.
Harvard will head to Providence, Rhode Island for the Brown Invitational Feb. 6-7.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.