GW water polo enters Southern Championships

The GW women’s water polo team beat out only one team to finish fifth at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference last weekend at Princeton, N.J. The team the Colonials beat, Gannon University, will face GW again in the first round of the Southern Championships next weekend.

Princeton University won the tournament and Harvard University finished second.

Senior Heather Walenga led GW along with freshman standout Mia Fabian, who earned a spot on the All-Tournament Second Team. Fabian received the honor after scoring six goals and adding two assists. Freshman Vanessa Fravel earned All-Tournament Honorable Mention honors scoring five goals throughout the weekend.

GW heads to the Southern Championships in Grove City, Pa., to face a field that includes Princeton, ranked 14th in the nation, No. 13 University of Michigan and No. 17 University of Indiana. GW will play Washington and Lee College if it gets past Gannon.

A good performance at the tournament is vital to a team’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament. The top four finishers in the Southern Championships qualify for the following weekend’s Eastern Championships in Providence, R.I. The winner of the Eastern Championships receives an automatic bid to the NCAAs.

GW overwhelmed Gannon 13-5 April 1, salvaging one match at the Collegiate. GW sprinted out to a 5-2 lead after one period of play and never looked back. Fabian, Walenga and Fravel scored three goals apiece to lead the Colonials.

GW fell to third-seeded Hartwick College in the Colonials’ second match 11-4. The Colonials again played a solid first half, holding Hartwick to three goals and only trailed by one heading into the third period. But the Hawks surged offensively scoring six goals in the third and two in the fourth.

The sixth-seeded Colonials (11-8, 7-4) lost to second-seeded Brown University 9-6 in GW’s first match of the Eastern Collegiates March 31. GW battled to a 4-4 tie at halftime, but Brown exploded in the third period, outscoring the Colonials 4-1. Fabian and Walanga each scored two goals.

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