Seattle U Wings Out: Water Polo Club Joins New League


Joel Caceres [email protected]


Caylah Lunning, Author

Seattle University’s club water polo team made a big splash as their program—for the first time—began playing in a league.

The team has always centered around a strong community, but has struggled in previous years with club attendance. However, a recent surge in membership has opened up more opportunities for the club, like access to league tournaments.

More players in the pool also means team leadership can improve practices by establishing more consistent and effective training.

“Last year we were more focused on getting people in the pool and this year we are more focused on playing games and improving our skills,” senior Mathematics major Alicia Nordal said.

Over the weekend, the team traveled to their first tournament of the season. 17 students traveled to Corvallis, Oregon, where Oregon State University (OSU) hosted a water polo tournament at the Osborn Aquatic Center.

The team faced other club teams from Western Washington University (WWU), University of Oregon (UO), and OSU.

While Seattle U’s water polo team is co-ed, the team has entered into a men’s water polo league. Emma Kehl, vice-president of the club and junior Nursing major, spoke to how this impacts the team.

“It was definitely a learning experience, especially for the girls. Breaking down the mental barrier of, ‘Oh I’m playing against guys, it’s going to be completely different.’ At the end of the day what really counts is skill.”

Seattle U had a rough start to their tournament weekend on Saturday Oct. 13 with tough losses to both WWU and UO.

On Sunday, Seattle U started off with a 9:30 a.m. game where OSU came out on top. The team came out slow in the first half, then picked things up in the second half.

Senior and president of water polo club Broderick Fitch explained what happened at half-time that helped the team come out strong and ready to fight.

“I got the team together and said hey, that scoreboard doesn’t exist, we’re here because we want to be. Let’s focus on what we need to do to improve as a team. Go out there and ignore the scoreboard.”

UO and OSU have highly competitive club teams, and the fresh-faced Seattle U entered both matches knowing they had little chance of victory but seeking valuable experience.

After a long weekend, Seattle U concluded their tournament with a rematch against WWU. In a close match, the Vikings defeated SU 9-11,  although the team was happy with the improvements they’d made.

The team will host these teams this weekend Oct. 20 at the Redhawk Center with their first game at noon. The tournament will conclude Oct. 21 at Rogers High School in Puyallup.

Caylah may be reached at
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