For most college freshmen, the first few weeks of school are an adjustment period. It’s a time to meet new people, learn to navigate campus and deal with roommates, all while attending college classes for the first time.
It’s a big change for most students, but for freshman men’s water polo player Daniel Tyner, there is the added obstacle of trying to balance his team’s four-hour-a-day practice schedule with new classes, new friends and new surroundings.
If his play so far this season is to be any indication however, the Long Beach, Calif., native seems to have settled in just fine.
In the Navy Open Sept. 4 and 5, Tyner led the Colonials in scoring with 11 goals over the course of the tournament’s four games while drawing 10 ejections. His ability to contribute immediately on offense has impressed head coach Scott Reed.
“He has, in a sense, gone above what we expected at this point in time,” Reed said. “Being a freshman, it’s never easy to be thrown right in and having to carry some of the offensive load, like he has had to do.”
Tyner’s performance at the Navy Open came with an added personal bonus as well. While most freshmen will likely have to wait until parents weekend to see their families, Tyner said his standout GW debut was made all the more sweet by the fact that his parents were in the stands to watch it.
“I was really proud that I played that well, especially while they were there, cheering for me,” he said.
Tyner’s hot start has also drawn the attention of the Collegiate Water Polo Association, which named him its Southern Division Rookie of the Week last week for his play at the Navy Open. Tyner said that even as he earns early-season accolades, his style of play hasn’t changed.
“I just try to do the best I can and do as best I can to help the team out in whatever way that is,” he said. “That’s just the way I try to play.”
Reed said he’s been impressed with Tyner’s mentality so far this season, especially in terms of the freshman’s demeanor both in and out of the pool.
“He is fantastic. When he is on deck, he is a very calm, cool individual,” Reed said. “Then in the heat of battle, you can see [a little aggressiveness] in his eyes, which is nice and it does get everyone else pumped up as well.”