Less than a week after its first tournament of the season, the CSU women’s water polo club team is already talking about winning a division championship.
After completing the tournament with two wins and two losses, new head coach David Grovdahl said that he learned a lot about his team.
“We were happy with the outcome and we got to find out where we are as a team,” said Grovdahl, who is in his first year coaching at CSU. “The big thing for us is that we now know we have the ability to compete for a championship in our division.”
Jill White, a senior, gives credit for the team’s newly found success to Grovdahl.
“We are a lot better than we have been in the past,” the team captain said. “There is a lot to improve on, we just have to get down to the nitty gritty.”
Grovdahl brings an element of experience that the Rams have been lacking the past few seasons, playing water polo for nine years and coaching for another nine.
White added that Grovdahl’s coaching style has had a major effect on the team.
“The system he is running is really helping us out,” she said. “Everything he does has a purpose. It is a step-by-step process, building up to actual playing.”
Senior Dayo Bodelson agreed, saying that an experienced leader has made a world of difference. In the past, the club team had been coached by students.
“With our new coach we are just better prepared; it is the best we have ever played,” Bodelson said. “Having someone who is more than a student to lead the team has helped out a lot.”
Grovdahl gives most of the credit for the team’s strides to the balance of experience.
“It is a very stable team,” he said. “We have five seniors and up-and-coming players that have just been excellent.”
Although White can see how much the polo team has improved, she still sees room for a lot of growth, specifically staying in games against tough competition.
“We can stay with teams in the first half,” she said. “The third quarter is our biggest problem, but I really think we can get past that. When we are in close games with competition that has beaten us in the past, we get over excited and give them an advantage.”
Even though the Rams have yet to reach the midpoint in their season, it doesn’t stop White from dreaming big. She said that this year’s team has something that other teams have lacked.
“If we end up going to nationals we could put up a good fight,” White said. “There is a just a connection within the team and I think we could do really well.”
Sports writer Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.