The women’s water polo team, ranked No. 9 by the Collegiate Water Polo Association, is entering the CWPA Championship from April 28 to April 30 with strong momentum and an incredible showing from the senior class. The team is tied for the No. 9 spot with the University of the Pacific, and it will be entering the championship as the No. 2 seed, behind only the University of Michigan. In its most recent game, the last home match for the Class of 2017, the Tigers defeated the George Washington Colonials 16-6, putting their overall record at 22-3 and their CWPA record at 7-1.
The University of California at Los Angeles is currently ranked first nationally, followed by Stanford, USC, Arizona State, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Irvine, Michigan, Hawaii, and University of the Pacific. Michigan is the highest-ranked team in the CWPA.
After celebrating their final victory at home, the seniors are gearing up for the CWPA Championship and aiming to take home the win. Seniors Hannah Lapkin, Morgan Hallock, Syndey Saxe, and Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh Johnson have secured .851 win percentages with over 131 victories, including two CWPA titles, throughout their time at the University.
Johnson and junior Haley Wan were also both named to the CWPA’s All-Conference first team, a strong signal of the Tigers’ dominance going into the Championships.
Johnson, who helped take the United States team to gold-medal victory at the Olympics last summer, has earned a .696 save percentage for the Tigers, with over 265 stops so far this year.
Wan has blown away all expectations this season, swiping 34 passes, earning 30 assists, and drawing 25 ejections. This builds off of her strong performance last year, when she led the team in goals, shots, and steals, and was named All-CWPA Second Team and All-CWPA Tournament Second Team. The entire team has elevated its level of performance, with six players winning at least 20 goals.
With a strong showing across the board, the Tigers are looking to improve from last season’s third-place finish at the CWPA Championships. After defeating Harvard 12-8, the team lost in a close 9-8 battle against Michigan, who went on to win the tournament. The Tigers then rounded out their tournament play with a 17-10 victory over Hartwick, securing third place.
Princeton will begin tournament play on Friday at 1 p.m. at Indiana University. They first face No. 7-seeded Bucknell. If the Tigers win, they will face No. 3 Hartwick and No. 6 Brown on Saturday, followed by the championship match on Sunday.
Although the Michigan team will present stiff competition for the Tigers, the Tigers are hungry for a victory. With an astonishingly productive and ambitious senior class leading the charge, the Tigers have a strong chance at taking over the CWPA title this year.