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Caption: The Seniors of the men's water polo team. Credit: GoPrincetonTigers

This coming weekend, Nov. 22–24, the Princeton men’s water polo team will compete in the Northeast Water Polo Conference Championship. There will be seven games throughout the weekend, played by six teams: sixth-seed Iona College (6–21 overall, 0–10 conference), fifth-seed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (10–13, 2–8), fourth-seed St. Francis Brooklyn College (18–12, 5–5), third-seed Brown University (20–11, 6–4), second-seed Princeton University (15–14, 7–3), and first-seed Harvard University (27–0, 10–0). The games will take place at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. 

The Tigers’ first game will be Saturday, Nov. 23, at 5 p.m. against the winner of Brown versus Iona. If the Tigers lose, they will play again Sunday, Nov. 24 at 10:30 a.m. against the loser of Harvard versus either MIT or St. Francis Brooklyn (depending on who wins the first game). If the Tigers win, they will play on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of the Harvard game. 

The Tigers have experience playing all of these teams this year. Princeton beat Iona on Oct. 12 (10–6) and Nov. 9 (19–12). They have played Brown twice, winning on Oct. 6 (12–9) but losing Nov. 2 (8–10). The Tigers are also prepared to play MIT, who they beat on Oct. 6 (9–8) and Nov. 3 (16–9), and St. Francis Brooklyn, who they beat on Oct. 13 (13–5) and Nov. 9 (13–10). The Tigers’ most formidable opponent will potentially be Harvard, who they lost to on Oct. 5 (9–12) and Nov. 3 (6–10).

As the second seed in this NWP Conference Tournament and the winners of last year’s conference championship, the Tigers are in a good place. Senior attack Kyle MacMillan remarks, “we’re approaching [the conference tournament] with the same mentality we approach any game.” Head Men’s Water Polo Coach Dustin Litvak and the players have been focused on consistency all year long, and they’re not looking to change much going into this weekend. 

Litvak and the players reflects on the year, particularly commenting on the strength and promise of the team. “The first year guys have played an important role,” Litvak said. “My hope is that they [have built] confidence throughout the season.” 

Litvak also took note of the senior class as a whole, who have been “phenomenal leaders” and extremely “dedicated to this sport.” Although he has only been working with them for two years, Litvak is confident that his seniors will be “going on to bigger and better things.” Nonetheless, he wants them to enjoy the last bit of this “unique experience” of competing in a team sport.

The players feel similarly grateful. “We have a great group this year that's grown close as the season has progressed. We wouldn't be where we are without everyone on the team,” MacMillan said. 

Fans looking to cheer on the Tigers this Saturday and Sunday as they face the conference’s strongest teams can do so through the livestream located on the GoPrincetonTigers website. 

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