Club sports at OSU: Women’s water polo
The OSU club team plays several tournaments a term, including 3 regional tourneys
Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
During high school physical education classes, most play an assortment of games such as field hockey, soccer, basketball and maybe even wrestling.
It is unlikely, however, that anyone combines all of those sports while also adding swimming to the mix.
By doing this, you get the sport of water polo.
Members of the Oregon State women's water polo team can tell you all about the difficulties that come along with their sport.
"It is typically very overlooked, and many people don't realize the skill it takes to play," said co-captain Margaret Nagle.
Nagle has been playing water polo for eight years, and has been swimming all her life.
"I played in high school, and I fell in love," she said.
Water polo can be a high-contact sport because it incorporates different aspects of other games all into one.
Seven players are allowed in the pool at once for each team, including a goalie. The concept of the game is to score against the opposing team by throwing a ball into a net, which might seem easy until you look at the rule book.
While playing, all players must continue to tread water until the game is over. They are also only allowed one hand on the ball at once.
You're also not allowed to completely tackle an opponent, but what the ref doesn't see won't get called.
"If you can't play nice, play water polo," said Casey O'Neill, a member of the team.
"A lot of the fighting goes on underneath the water," added Nagle.
After tournaments, the team is constantly mending wounds.
At their last tournament, one girl even got a black eye.
The team typically plays three tournaments a term, and they also have three regional tournaments.
Two of the regional tournaments help seed the teams, whereas the last determines the regional champion.
Oregon State Univeristy placed fifth in the region three years ago, but has placed second each of the past two years. They are hoping to continue their improvement this year.
They play teams all across Washington and Oregon. The University of Oregon has two teams, and their "A" team has a tendency to give OSU troubles.
"At our last tournament, we were able to play really well against them, which is a nice boost for us," said co-captain Karin Rottman.
OSU went 2-2 at a tournament two weekends ago. They are hoping to get as much practice in as possible before regional seeding starts.
Joining the water polo team is not a difficult task. All you need is to pay the club dues and show up to the six hours of practice per week.
Their practices are held at Langton Pool on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m.
"It doesn't matter if you've never played before, because we are more than willing to help people learn the sport," said Nagle.
Last year, two girls who had never played water polo were able to compete in regionals due to their dedication to the club.
"It was so great to be a part of something at OSU and it was easy to join. I am looking forward of years to come," Kayley Klemencic said, a freshman on the team this year.
If you are looking for a way to get out some frustration, or to go learn something new, the water polo club is a great place to start. Whether you have experience or not, it is a great way to get started.
"We are more than just a team," Nagle said. "We are like a family."
Caitie Karcher, sports writer