CWU hosts Water Polo tournament

The CWU Water Polo club’s goalie during a practice at the Aquatic Center.

The CWU Water Polo club’s goalie during a practice at the Aquatic Center.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

The CWU Water Polo club’s goalie during a practice at the Aquatic Center.

Kyvon Henry, Staff Reporter

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CWU’s water polo team is hosting its spring tournament  this weekend, on June 3 and 4, at the Aquatic Center on campus.

The team will be facing three college master teams– North Idaho, Seattle Otters and Auburn Masters. This year’s competition is limited due to universities being on summer break and the days leading up to finals weeks.

“The team is a bunch of savages,” said T.J. Thomas, a freshman from Spanaway.

Despite only a month and a half of experience, Thomas is confident for the upcoming tournament.

“I just got done with the wrestling team, saw the flyer and needed a sport. If you show up and work hard they’ll put in the time to teach you,” Thomas said. “They aren’t mean about you not knowing how to swim right. When I heard that I thought it was over for my water polo career, but they spent the last month and half getting me ready for the tournament.”

Sophomore Tyler Arnold from Auburn, Washington, has been playing water polo since he was 10 years old. He came upon the sport via swimming. He is also accompanied by his older brother a senior, who shares his passion to take the sport seriously.

“A lot of people have trouble with treading; swimming is mostly going straight,” Arnold said. “In water polo, you have to learn quickly to move side to side covering a lot of area.”

While at Auburn Mountainview, Arnold and the water polo team earned fifth in state.

Camden Rimby, a sophomore from Portland, Oregon, has been participating in water polo since seventh grade. He attributes his water polo career to his older brother and friends who got him into the sport.

“I was on swim team and wanted to branch out,” Rimby said.  “It’s a fun way to interact in the water without swimming laps back and forth. There is more of a team dynamic”

Rinby serves as both a player and club treasurer.

“We hope to keep having tournaments, but there isn’t much interest in the area,” Rinby said. “We have to plan in advance but we still don’t get responses.”

The team was recently suspended for two years from the National Water Polo Association, for not attending a tournament due to not having the numbers for a team.

Molly Ridge, a sophomore from Lake Tapps, serves as the club president. She has 12 years of experience, combined with much more from family experience. Tearing two ligaments in her right shoulder lead her to sitting out for six months, which is the longest she’s been away from the sport.

“When I started there was two girls and five guys, barely enough to make a team,” Ridge said.  “We can renew membership now, and with how practice has turned out this year we might join next year.”

The club has blossomed this year from seven athletes to 25.

Last year the club won two out of four of its games, and won one of the two games in Idaho at a tournament in March, when it was in the rebuilding stage.

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CWU hosts Water Polo tournament