Water Polo have successful year in and out of the pool

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waterpolo 1The University of St Andrews Water Polo Club is still hard at work both in and out of the pool to finish off what has been a phenomenal season for both the Women’s and Men’s Team. The Men’s Team, led by captain Arik Clausner, recently rounded up their season winning eleven out of twelve league games placing them at the top of the Scottish 1A league. They also placed 3rd in the SSS Waterpolo Tournament in November. A special mention goes to Angus Armstrong who is the team’s top goal scorer with an impressive goal count of 60. Angus recently represented Scotland at the Celtic Nations tournament. The team has grown in size enormously this year with key contributions from freshers Chris Li, Jeff Guenther, James Stuart-Turner, Arky Osovtsov and Jack Prescott.

The Women’s Team, led by captain Hallie Wilkins, made history this year with their season after winning the BUCS trophy final against Bath on March 16th. This was the first time Women’s Waterpolo has ever won the BUCS trophy. They were also champions of their BUCS League with an undefeated season, winning all twelve league matches. After narrowly missing out on the title last year this was a huge achievement.

But their season isn’t over yet— the women will travel to Nottingham for the first round of playoffs to be promoted to the premier league next year. Fresher Erin Reilly also started for the Scotland’s Celtic Nations who came in second at the championship in Cardiff this past weekend. Captain Hallie, Erin Reilly and Kerry Falconer all scored in every game played this season and have formed a formidable trio. Goalie Kate Pence has had an unbelievable season, saving the team numerous times and providing inch perfect passes allowing us to score on the counter.

The women’s team have come so far in just a few years. Two years ago they could barely get a team together with only seven members and now they have a full team, won the league undefeated and won the BUCS trophy. The successes of both the Men’s and Women’s team is partly down to the many hours of training completed every week. Due to the universities lack of a pool, they use St Leonard’s school pool and travel to Dundee twice a week.

This results in nine sessions a week including two early mornings at 6.30 a.m. and two strength and conditioning sessions in the gym. The Saints Water Polo Teams would not have been able to achieve any of this without the help of their brilliant coach Ian MacCallum, whose dedication and enthusiasm push every player to train and perform at the highest level. Ian has an extensive international career in Water Polo, playing for Scotland and Great Britain, and is currently the Head Coach of the Scottish Junior Women’s Team. He warmly welcomes those brand new to the game along with more experienced players.

As both the women’s and men’s seasons draw to a close, the Saints Water Polo squad is looking forward to celebrating a very successful season and kicking it off early again next fall with a pre-season trip to Eger, Hungary. Interested in joining the squad? Visit http://saintswaterpolo.com or contact them through Facebook.

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