Sports / The Prairie Fire / October 13, 2010

Conference championship looms for club water polo

Bloodied, bruised, and bed-bugged, Knox’s co-ed water polo team went 2-2 in four games at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minn. on Oct. 2 and 3. Their two wins came against Carleton College (by a score of 16-7) and Saint Mary’s University (11-7). Their two losses came against rival Monmouth College and St. John’s University. The team, coached by Jonathan Powers, is now 3-5 on the season.

Featuring a lineup comprised of mostly women, Knox took on teams of mainly men. In a sport with a laissez-faire attitude towards kicking, punching, grabbing, etc. beneath the water, games can get a little rough.

“Basically, we just get beat up by these humongous men,” said junior Tory Kassabaum, who received a fat lip in one of the contests. “And we stayed in really shady hotel. With bed-bugs.” Kassabaum later admitted that the team only found a few bed-bug shells, prompting team members to sleep on top of the sheets.

Though the lineup tends to be female-dominated, the team’s leading scorer is Alex Jandernoa, a freshman from Grand Haven, Mich. Jandernoa, along with fellow freshman goalie Luke Madson, are often the only two men in the pool for Knox. Still, the team will enter the Heartland Division Championship in fifth place out of eight schools.

The rest of the conference includes Augustana College, Carleton College, Grinnell College, Macalester College, Monmouth College, Saint John’s University and Saint Mary’s University.

“We hope to get up to third or fourth at conference,” junior Katherine Miller said.

Miller and Kassabaum both emphasized that, above all else, Knox’s co-ed water polo team is the most well-liked in the conference.

“Everybody loves us,” Miller said. “We’re always out there having fun and laughing, and people like that.”

The co-ed season wraps up Oct. 23 and 24 at the Heartland Division Conference Championship at Grinnell College. The winner at conference will qualify for nationals.

In the spring, Knox’s women’s club team will have their season. In 2006, the women’s team qualified for nationals.

Kevin Morris

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