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Women’s Water Polo Set to Meet No. 7 Michigan in Opening Round of Eastern Championship

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

The Particulars:
The Harvard women’s water polo team will face No. 7 Michigan in the opening game of the Eastern Championship. The three-day event will be held at the University of Maryland’s Eppley Recreation Center, April 30-May 2. The winner of the event earns the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships.

Follow From Home:
The Collegiate Water Polo Association has teamed up with Stretch Internet to provide live video coverage throughout the entire weekend. To watch the Eastern Championship live, click here.

Last Time Out:
Harvard suffered a 14-10 loss to Brown to close out the regular season. Aisha Price lead the offensive attack with four goals. Ita Barton-Kettleborough registered a hat trick while Devan Kennifer netted a pair of goals. Shannon Purcell rounded out the scoring, finding the back of the net once in the contest.

About Harvard:
The Crimson enters the weekend with a 12-12 overall record and finished third in the CWPA Northern Division with a 1-3 mark. Harvard is 2-7 against the tournament field, having defeated Brown and Bucknell. Devan Kennifer paces the squad with 62 goals on the year. Monica Zdrojewski has tallied 29 goals while Ita Barton-Kettleborough and Aisha Price have scored 28 apiece. Laurel McCarthy has turned aside 150 shots and sports an 8.80 goals-against average.

About Michigan:
The Wolverines carry a 29-6 record into the tournament, after capturing the CWPA Western Division title with a 5-0 mark. Alison Mantel has scored 49 goals and registered 42 assists for 91 points on the season. Michigan has had 25 players find the back of the net this season while all 30 players have registered a point. The Wolverines have tallied 388 goals on the year.  Five goalies have seen action between the pipes and have combined to post a 6.13 goals-against average.

The Last Meeting:
The Crimson and Wolverines squared off Feb. 21 at the Princeton Invitational. Michigan handed Harvard its first loss of the 2010 campaign, a 13-3 decision. Kristina Bergquist, Devan Kennifer and Elise Molnar each scored a goal in the contest. Laurel McCarthy stopped seven shots in the game.

How They Got Here:
Bucknell, Hartwick and Michigan each earned an automatic bid to the tournament after capturing the title in their respective divisions. Brown, Indiana and Princeton all received automatic berths after finishing in second-place in their divisions. Harvard and Maryland were awarded at-large berths to the championship by the selection committee.

The Schedule:
To view the entire schedule of the Eastern Championship, click here.