Water Polo

Submitted by UMichinCA on January 22nd, 2011 at 11:46 PM

How about the Michigan Women's Water Polo Team?!?!

Water Polo is one of those sports whose center of gravity lies squarely in the west (California to be specific).  UM has been knocking on the door for several years, but they haven't quite gotten over the hump in years passed.

Today, Michigan just claimed victory over #15 Cal State Northridge and #7 San Jose State.

Tomorrow they take on #4 UCLA (BTN) and #1 Stanford.

This could be the year!!  This looks like an early preview of the NCAA Championships

Lets Go Blue!!!!



January 22nd, 2011 at 11:53 PM ^

was at Cottage Inn tonight; our table was next to UCLA's water polo team.

Let's just say 'Wish they all could be California girls' rang very true. Even though some (half?) may not even be from CA. Still though, it's that California sun. Or something.


January 23rd, 2011 at 9:59 AM ^

For kicks I just took a close look at both teams.  Michigan's roster has a lot of Californians, so this exercise may not have been that useful.  But ...

* I think Michigan's players are just as cute as UCLA's.

* Someone in the AD needs to hire a lighting consultant.  I know we're in the Midwest, but it would probably be best to get a scheme that doesn't make all the athletes look pale and washed-out.  I've noticed this with the football players, too.


January 23rd, 2011 at 12:32 AM ^

I didn't see the recruits at either Water Polo game, but David Brandon and Fred Jackson made appearances.

The matches are a lot of fun.  Did you know it's a penalty if one girl pulls another girl's top off?  Seriously.  The officials even have a hand gesture to make the call.

I expect to see all of you at the matches on Sunday against #4 UCLA and #1 Stanford!



January 23rd, 2011 at 5:16 AM ^

Was it a penalty or an kick out?  I can understand the penalty shot call if the player was inside the 5m and they had nobody in between them and the cage.

I wouldn't know without seeing it, but I'm guessing it was only a 20 second kick out.  A player will get a 20 kick out call if they pull, dunk, swim over, splash to prevent the offensive player from possessing the ball or their advantageous position.  That will create a man up situation like a power play in hockey.  A player is only allowed 3 ejection or kick out fouls.

The best is the brutality call.  We usually called it getting "rolled" because the ref will signal it by making the same gesture as a false start.  I have been on the wrong end of couple brutality calls in my day.  The most memorable one was out of nowhere this guy I have been guarding the whole first quarter raises up and socks me square across the jaw.

The thing is if the refs don't see it it is pretty much all legal.  So basically anything underwater was legal.  We were never told to play dirty, but if the opposing team is playing dirty then we dished it right back.  Our coach always told us to swim with high elbows and egg beater with high knees.  It wasn't our fault if they put their face near our elbows or knees.  


January 23rd, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

1956, the two best Water Polo teams in the world were the Soviet Union and Hungary. A couple of days before, Soviet tanks had rolled into Budapest to support an overthrow of the liberal government. By the end of the match, the water was said to be red from the blood produced by all the underwater activity.

Michigan Manders

January 23rd, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

Swimming with high elbows and a egg beater with high knees is simply good form and has nothing to do with playing dirty. High elbows give faster acceleration from a standstill which is a must as well as making swim dribbling easier. High knees just give you more power and enable you to step higher.

Michigan Manders

January 23rd, 2011 at 12:11 AM ^

Alright, so I'm actually a water polo player (men's though) and was wondering about Michigan's men's team. I know it has its own little website but was wondering why it isn't on MGoBlue.com.

I thought it might only be a club team but then on the schedule it listed Indiana, Michigan State, and other Big Ten schools. So is Men's Water Polo just D2 in the Big Ten or something?

I'm askling mostly because if it is D2 (or the Big Ten is just a MAC level D1 conference) I may actually have a shot to play on the team instead of just club water polo if I go there.


January 23rd, 2011 at 5:39 AM ^

Joe da fan is actually wrong about the comparison.  Collegiate club water polo is not a joke.  It is obviously not the NCAA level, but it is not something someone can join and be successful if they have never played before.

This is the final ranking for men's collegiate water polo:


The entire country is broken up into 17 divisions:


The winner from each division goes on to play for the championship.  Most likely in your case you will be traveling to different tournaments hosted by other big ten schools.  This year for example there were tournaments at Michigan and Iowa while the Big 10 division championship was held at Purdue.  

Michigan finished the year ranked #9 in the country.  It seems like msu won the Big Ten last year.  


January 23rd, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

Many club teams travel and play other schools, but their biggest difference is that they fund themselves (and w/out scholarships, obviously the level of play is typically lower than varsity). A varsity team's expenses are paid for by the athletic department. A club team pays its own way through membership dues, fundraisers, etc. But playing a club sport can be a lot of fun if you're looking to be part of a team and play a sport competitively.


January 23rd, 2011 at 12:18 AM ^

Today, Michigan just claimed victory over #15 Cal State Northridge and #7 San Jose State.

Tomorrow they take on #4 UCLA (BTN) and #1 Stanford.

This could be the year!!  This looks like an early preview of the NCAA Championships

Lets Go Blue!!!!

Talk about a brutal stretch of schedule.  I'll take Michigan Gurlz over California Gurlz any day though.


January 23rd, 2011 at 12:56 AM ^

I played water polo division one varsity. (former player from Pioneer) Coach Anderson was my coach in the off season from my freshman to senior years. This man knows his stuff, he is a great coach, great person, and a true Michigan man. I owe my college education, my development as a man, and alot of what I have to what he instilled in me.
<br>Coach, if you read this, thank you. I may have been a hot head mess up, but I am truly thankful for everything you gave me.


January 23rd, 2011 at 3:22 AM ^

Creative writing was the best class I ever took at PiHi.  Don P. was the man.  He was a kick ass swimmer in his day and still actually has swimming records at  PiHi and Michigan....  I haven't swam for Club Wolverine  in years but I remember seeing his name on the record board at Canham Pool.  Great guy, hopefully all is well with him and Maria, she was also my english teacher at PiHi, last I knew they were still married.  But I was in Iraq for 2 years and my brains don't work like they used too....

Wolverine In Iowa

January 23rd, 2011 at 9:56 AM ^

Question:  is the defensive strategy now the same as it was when I played (more than 20 years ago)?  We would foul the hole man with the same defender TWICE and then switch off defenders in order to avoid the kick-out that came from committing a minor foul by the same guy three times in a row.  Is that concept still in play now?

Everyone on my water polo team (fall sport) was on the swim team (winter) and crew (spring) except for one guy who wrestled and then played baseball.  So, obviously the conditioning wasn't that big an issue, except for the first day of practice my senior year.  (CSB)  The heater wasn't working in the pool or diving well, and we were just in the water treading with our legs only, holding up weights and benches and stuff.  I hadn't been in the pool for about a month (end of summer, laziness, partying, etc. before senior year), and so I was out of shape.  At the end of this practice, due to being dead tired and freezing cold, I could barely get out of the pool (had to use the ladder LOL).  Never did I reap the benefit of a big Snickers bar so well than when I got back to my dorm (boarding school), ate a chocolate bar, and was able to revive myself for the walk to dinner. (/CSB).  I'd never been that exhausted before, even with two-a-days for swimming.

Michigan Manders

January 23rd, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

And at least in Missouri, there is no rule about committing a certain number of regular fouls. I'm a 2M defender/2M so I would know too since I've done it a multitude of times. There is, however, a rule that allows the fouled player to shoot (one motion and directly after the foul only) if the foul occurred outside the five meter. I don't know if that was in effect when you played. Anyway now the strategy for guarding 2M is to front him and take away the strong side move, and only foul if he (somehow) gets the ball inside the 5M. If the 2M is outside the 5-6M the defender usually plays behind to avoid being beat backdoor/over the top. Your goal is to make him do a backhand or layout, plus that's the side your help should be coming from (be it the goalie or opposite flat).

Of course, that's in a press defense; drops and other types are played.differently.

Hooray for water polo jargon!

Oh, and now since boys swimming is in the fall, though most polo players do swim we have to stay in shape through club wp and weightlifting in the winter.


January 23rd, 2011 at 10:53 AM ^

...Women's Water Polo NCAA Championship Tournament this year at Canham Natatorium. Here's hoping the home pool advantage helps the team win its first national championship.

Also, today's game vs. UCLA kicks off at 11 am on the BTN. You can also catch the team when it takes on Indiana in Bloomingon on March 26 at 2 p.m. The BTN hasn't yet announced if the game will be aired live or via tape delay.