With all the other sports waiting for the weather to clear water polo has been able to begin without any delay. Currently, the girls water polo team is 11-0-1. They went undefeated in the Early Bird tournament (March 14-15) while posting a tie with Zeeland. Last week they defeated Portage Northern 17-0 and Forest Hills 18-3. This past weekend they went 5-0 in the Grand Haven shootout and avenged their only tie of the season by defeating Zeeland 7-4. Below you will find the preseason outlook answers to some questions we had for Coach Neeb.
How does this future team differ from past years?
A major difference for our team this year is experience. Last year, we only had one Senior on our team. This year we have ten. That should really help us, especially in the postseason.
What are your season expectations?
My expectations are quite high for this season. We have the talent to be one of the top teams in the state and I would like to see us contend for a state championship this year. Additionally, I expect a handful of Eagles to receive individual recognition by earning postseason awards (All-Region, All-State, etc.).
Who are your key returning players?
Makayla Williams, Taylor Atwood, Kelsey Buettner, and Carlie Boeve make up a solid core of Seniors who should help lead our team to success this year. Additionally, this will be Clarissa Kovacs’ second season as starting goalie and I believe that the experience from last year–along with the hard work she has been putting in–will enable her to be a defensive rock for our team.
Who are this years biggest rivals?
This year’s biggest rival is almost certainly going to be Zeeland. Our two teams seem primed to be the elite on this side of the state. Adding to the rivalry is the fact that their head coach and I are best friends, plus I came to Hudsonville last year after spending a dozen years coaching in Zeeland. So it’s a rivalry, but it should be a fun one.
Can you give me some highlights from last year? Record?
Last year our record was 19-9.
Are there any big games/events to circle on your schedule?
A6: The big games for us will be versus: Jenison (away on 3/26), Zeeland (away on 4/24) and Rockford (at home for Senior Night on 5/1). Our postseason starts on 5/9-5/10 with our District Tournament at East Kentwood. If we qualify for the Regional Tournament, that will be at East Grand Rapids high school on 5/16-5/17. The State Championship Tournament is being hosted by Saline on 5/30-5/31 (and hopefully we’ll be there!).