The Grinnell Water Polo Team, also know as the Wild Turkey's, had a fun and successful tournament September 29-30. Held in Galesberg, IL and hosted by Knox College, the Heartland Division seeding tournament for Division III club teams was an unqualified success for the water polo team. Competing in four games the Turkeys were victorious in every respect, from winning games to developing new players. Lead by our senior captains Todd Kimball '02 (Seattle, WA) and Jake Pollack '02 (Sacramento, CA) , the team went a perfect 4-0 with an impressive +41 goal differential. Other starters for the Wild Turkeys included the two freshmen from San Antonio, Texas, goalie Henry Owen '05 and Danny Matuzas '05, his brother Mark Matuzas '03, Ari Hart '04 from Evanston, IL, and Dan Karney of Des Moines, IA. The additional members of the team, all of whom contributed to its success, were Justin Thompson '05, Leah Blaziak '03, Braden Pence '05, Brian Clites '05, Georgia Proestopoulos '05, Ellen Hibdon '03, Zac Monahan '05, and Brett McMillan '05. By winning the seeding tournament the water polo team is the #1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
Grinnell 16 - 3 Carleton
Grinnell 14 - 2 St. John's
Grinnell 10 - 6 St. Mary's
Knox 1 - 13 Grinnell
Upcoming for the Wild Turkeys is the Heartland Division Conference Championship on October 13-14 at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. If victorious the team will not only win the conference title, but will earn a trip to the National Division III Club Championship Tournament to be held in Rochester, NY on November 9-11th.
In defeating St.Mary's University by the
score of 14-9 Grinnell not only won the Heartland Conference
title, but also earned a bid to the Division III National
Club Tournament. The conference title is a first for the Wild
Turkeys after being runners-up in 1999, that was also the year
of the team's first trip to nationals. Co-Captain Jake Pollack
'02, who was a member of the 1999 nation squad, said after the
victory over St. Mary's, "This is a great feeling. To be
able to go to nationals for a second time is unbelievable. Based
on our performances so far, I feel good about our chances."
Indeed the Wild Turkeys have done very well in their conference,
going undefeated and never having trailed in any game.
The Heartland Conference Championship Tournament was held at Carleton College over the weekend of October 13th and 14th. In their opening match Grinnell beat the hosts Carleton by 9 goals, 15-6. Later that same day Grinnell dominated the two-time defending conference champions Macalester College 23-8. It followed those two victories up the next afternoon when Grinnell beat St. Mary's, completing its title run.
The Wild Turkeys are heading to Rochester, NY for the Division III Club Nationals. The team enters the tournament as the number 5 seed out of 12 teams invited. Grinnell's first round group contains Bates College and the State University of New York. The group stage games will be played on Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd with a knockout stage to follow on Saturday night and Sunday.
All of these accomplishments are more impressive because of the club status that the waterpolo team maintains. The hard work of captains Jake Pollack '02 and Todd Kimball '02 has allowed the team to flourish. Other starters for the Wild Turkeys include goalie Henry Owen '05, Mark Matuzas '03, Danny Matuzas '05, Ari Hart '04, and Dan Karney '04. The remaining invaluable members of the club are Justin Thompson '05, Leah Blaziak '03, Braden Pence '05, Brian Clites '05, Georgia Proestopoulos '05, Ellen Hibdon '03, Zac Monahan '05, Brett McMillan '05, and Rachel Sellon '04. It has been a great season for Grinnell waterpolo and they look forward to defending Grinnell's honor on a national stage.