Club water polo treading the waters one match at a time
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 13:12
UNC Wilmington’s water polo team is back and readier than ever for the new season to begin. Team captain James Edmonds expects the team to be very competitive within North Carolina this year and to bring home their first win.
Water polo has been a club team at UNCW since 2009, and each year they bring more enthusiasm, hard work, and competitiveness to each match. This season, the team has been preparing for the first match by adding more fundamental freestyle techniques to their already intense practices.
Edmonds prepares his team each practice for who they will be competing against that week. He uses different techniques like the triangle pass, keep away and king of the hill. These techniques all involve shooting, passing and keeping possession away from opponents.
As captain of the team Edmonds feels his main responsibility is preparation. He wants the team to play well in each match and have every player confident that they are ready to face each team.
The team completed their first match of the season against Duke this past weekend, where their hard work throughout the semester shone through.
“The guys' team put out a good showing against Duke,” Edmonds said. “We played them close and showed a lot of grit after getting down early. The girls' team fought hard as well and stayed competitive despite not having any subs in a very exhausting sport. Normally, you sub every three or four minutes, but the girls played the entire match. I’m very proud of their efforts.”
They will continue on through their schedule with Clemson, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Maryland. Before each match the team warms up in the pool with jumping jacks and their usual Seahawk chant pumping the players with adrenaline and motivation.
Currently, the team has 28 active members with 10 to 14 members traveling to each match, with seven of those members playing per match. Water polo is an intense sport in general, but the most intense part is keeping the ball in possession when your opponent is bigger than you, which happens often.
“In order to maintain possession the key factor is eye contact, knowing where your opponent’s next move is going to be and how to be one step faster,” Edmonds said.
Fouls are drawn often in the pool by common fouls and kick outs. If a player has a common foul, they get a free pass, but if a player gets three common fouls, they sit out for a penalty, otherwise known as a kick out.
All in all, the Seahawks look primed to compete this season and continue growing from where they were in 2009.
“We’re set at a lot of different positions because we have a lot of new talent coming in that I’m really excited to see compete,” Edmonds said.