loki/tinymce : /sports/wwaterpolo/2009-10/releases/20100120_season_preview : 20100120 season preview : 9n05er1nk4sktmqe



Season Preview: Women’s Water Polo Seeks Continued Success in 2010

Photo of: The Harvard women's water polo team discusses strategy. (David Silverman Photography)

The Harvard women’s water polo team looks to elevate into the elite of the Collegiate Water Polo Association this season. The Crimson finished 2009 with a 12-16 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the CWPA Northern Division, good for fourth in the conference. The team also placed third at the CWPA Northern Division Championships and seventh at the Eastern Championships. Harvard begins the 2010 season where it left off last year, ranked seventh in the CWPA preseason poll.

Due to the CWPA realigning the Northern division, Harvard, Brown and Hartwick are the only remaining members. The Crimson will face both teams twice during the regular-season. With only three teams in the division, the top two finishing teams will advance to the CWPA Eastern Championship against the best two teams from both the Southern and Western Divisions, in addition to two at-large selections.

The Crimson returns 85 percent of its scoring from a year ago, including sophomore Devan Kennifer who lead the team with 80 tallies. Kennifer is also the reigning CWPA Northern Division Rookie of the Year and was selected to the CWPA All-Northern Division first team. She was also named to the All-Eastern Championship Tournament team, as well as the Rookie of the TournamentSophomore Monica Zdrojewski, a CWPA All-Northern Division second team honoree who scored 39 goals last season, also returns for the 2010 campaign.

Harvard also returns sophomore goaltender Laurel McCarthy, who accumulated 52 saves and seven wins last season. McCarthy is the lone netminder on the Crimson’s roster for 2010.

Seniors Kelly Peeler and Kristina Bergquist will serve as team captains for this season. Peeler, an attacker hailing from Westfield, N.J., found the back of the net nine times in 2009. Bergquist, who is a native of Danville, Calif., tallied six goals last season during her junior year.

The Crimson boasts a young squad with loads of experience. Harvard welcomes four freshmen to the program for the upcoming season and returns 13 veterans: three seniors, four juniors and six sophomores.

Harvard opens competition Feb. 6-7 as it hosts the Harvard Invitational. The Crimson will play four games in the two-day stretch, facing off against Villanova, the New York Athletic Club, Siena and Iona.