Men's Water Polo
Sorry, it's been a slow couple of weeks with moving back up to school combined with Comcast being incompetent. Hopefully things will get settled down and I'll be able to get into a rhythm and finish a few of the ideas I've had. For now I've got an update on the Men's Club Water Polo Team thanks to their president Robbie Gomez who will keep us updated on their progress throughout the season.
YOU FORGET ABOUT CALI WHEN YOU’RE IN THE GREAT VALLEY
When the temp goes up by 10 degree, you know that you’re in Tennessee. With that, you also know that the Hillbilly Invitational in Knoxville is the traditional kick-off to the 2009 competition season for Michigan men’s water polo. Last year at Tennessee, the Wolverines dropped their first two games of the season before salvaging two wins to finish the 2008 Hillbilly Invitational with a disappointing 2-2 record. With a new mindset and some fresh new faces, Michigan expected a stronger start to their season this year.
In their first game of the season, Michigan took on Cleveland, and Ohio-based masters team. After starting the game both sloppy and slow, U-M picked up the pace from the second quarter on en route to a convincing 13-4 victory.
In the second game of the weekend, the Wolverines took early control of their match against a team composed of Purdue Boilermaker alumni before suffering from a slight cataclysm. Leading the game 3-1 going into the second half, Purdue stomped their way back into the game and into a 5-3 victoy over Michigan.
Using the third game as an opportunity to regroup, Michigan tried to take advantage of the personnel mismatches against the opposing Notre Dame Fighting Irish. However, their woes continued as mental errors and missed shots allowed ND to stay in the game. Tied at the end of regulation, a sudden death overtime goal by sophomore Kenichi Osawa (Ann Arbor, MI) got U-M back to their winning ways.
Back in stride, Michigan closed out the 2009 Hillbilly Invitational with a dominating 14-1 victory over the University of Georgia. The team ended the weekend with a 3-1 record. Though not perfect, it was a vast improvement over where the team was at the beginning of the 2008 season. Leading the Wolverines in scoring at Tennessee was junior Nick Mansfield (Rockford, MI) with 12 goals on 19 shots. Junior Dan Basile (Grosse Pointe, MI) had a breakout performance saw him lead the team with 8 assists. Making their Michigan debuts were freshman Ray Viviano (Ann Arbor, MI) who brought stability to the goalie position all weekend long with a 63% save percentage and Ben Baumgarten (Walled Lake, MI) who scored his first two goals of his career against Cleveland.
The Michigan men’s water polo team next plays at East Lansing, MI from September 4-6 [editors note: updates will be available soon] at the 2009 Spartan Invite.
To support the Michigan men’s water polo team, please visit us at: http://www.umich.edu/~umpolo/donate.html