UConn adds water polo to its club sports
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 23:10
The University of Connecticut is pleased to welcome a new competitive game to their collection of club sports: water polo.
Rebekah Lohnes, a 3rd-semester human development and family studies major, has been working endlessly since last year to get her team together. Now, the roster is filled, the first practice is completed and Lohnes is looking forward to coaching her team to what will hopefully be a swift and victorious first season.
“I played water polo for four years in high school and fell in love with the sport,” said Lohnes. “I was recruited by several Division 1 and Division 3 schools, but chose to come to UConn for financial and academic reasons. Water polo isn’t big on the East Coast, so I’m really excited to spread the word and get it started at UConn.”
Lohnes and her team practice in the natatorium at 7:30 p.m. every Monday, alternating between swimming and dry land practices each week. The team then focuses on specific skills and fundamentals, such as ball handling, passing and shooting. But each practice’s routines vary.
“We spent the first practice mostly learning skills and techniques,” said Jamie Hollister, a 5th-semester marketing major, and a part of the team. Like Hollister, most members are primarily swimmers with little to no water polo experience.
“Most of our team is inexperienced, but we still have a few players with many years of practice who will be key for our success,” said Lohnes. “We also have an unbelievable amount of natural skill and potential.”
Lohnes’ practice module involves teaching the rules and techniques of the game first, focusing on particular skills, and then, a mini-scrimmage to help gain real-life experience, what Lohnes calls the most active and fun part of her practice.
“I’m passionate about the game of water polo, and it is extremely important to me that everyone is having fun while they’re in the water,” she said.
The team is composed of both male and female players who coexist fluidly on the team, working together in the water and using each gender role to their advantage.
“I think it’s really interesting that the team is co-ed, and it really works well for our us,” said Hollister. “Most of the boys have stronger arms and can dodge the ball really hard, while a lot of the girls are smaller and can move around easier in the water. It really works to our advantage.”
There are still open spots available on the water polo team. If you have any form of swimming experience, and are interested in joining a new, fun sport on campus, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The team urges anyone who’s interested to come out to the pool and give it a try!