Club water polo hopes to make splash

The Carnegie Mellon Men’s Water Polo Club team looks to make a splash this year by expanding their team and emphasizing team-building.

Last December, the squad represented the Mid-Atlantic Division at the 2012 National Collegiate Club Championship in Middlebury, Vt.

First-year mechanical engineering and business administration double major Ted Warhoe, a utility player, said, “We were just very happy to be there. Most other teams at nationals had a full team on the bench, when we only had one substitute.”

Even without a full team, they exhibited a strong performance at the Mid-Atlantic Championships at Franklin & Marshall College, despite playing without any substitutes.

Club president Willy Elmore, a junior civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy double major, said, “Considering we were rebuilding, it was pretty awesome that we competed at the national level at the Division-III club tournament.”

The team worked hard, attending three tournaments and the Division-III National Championship in the fall semester.

With an overall record of 5–6, the team posted big wins against Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Grove City College, Lehigh University, and Franklin & Marshall College throughout the season.

Looking forward into the spring, Elmore plans on expanding the size of the team, hopefully supplementing substitute players to the seven main positions in water polo.

“Right now we don’t have a whole lot of players and not a whole lot of subs at tournaments, and I want to go farther at the national tournament than we did this past year,” Elmore said.

In terms of learning from the fall season, he said that he had “no regrets,” but hopes to improve “team chemistry and thinking as a team.”

Many of the players in the club come from backgrounds in high school water polo and competitive swimming, with some graduate students having played at the collegiate varsity level.

One of these players is biomedical engineering graduate student Miki Silver, a current player in the hole set position whom the team is attempting to replace after his graduation this spring.

“Anyone can come play,” Silver said. “All you need is a positive attitude and willingness to work hard.”

The team’s plan for the spring semester is to continue lifting, swimming, going through dry-land exercises, and having players improve their game by experimenting with different positions.

The team only has the pool three times a week, but has already begun intense preparation and team-building for next season.

“As a team we hang out on the weekend all the time and we’re a pretty close bunch of students. It’s really more than a team, it’s a group of friends as well,” Elmore said.

Warhoe agreed, “We all support each other; we really are a family.”