Women’s water polo starts season with West Coast trip


Photo courtesy of icgaels.com

three of the team’s four games in Santa Barbara were against top-25 opponents.    

Catherine Droohan, Staff Writer

The 2022 Iona College women’s water polo team, led by head coach Brian Kelly, is about to finish up their final preseason tournaments before beginning their regular season MAAC games.  

The twenty-player roster consists of women from California to Michigan to Trinidad and Tobago, with a good mix of rookie and veteran players. Returning for the Gaels are graduate standouts Jordan van Reeken and Maeve Ellen Wydan. Freshman Mary Jane Bailey, Nikki Salerno, Addison Collins and Remy Ickes are all newcomers to the team.  

The group’s season began in late January in Santa Barbara, California, where the team traveled to compete in the 2022 USCB Winter Invite tournament.  

They suffered their first losses against Princeton, Indiana and San Jose State in the first three games, but managed to get a 16-11 win versus Ottawa Arizona in the fourth and final game.  

The annual West Coast trip was anticipated considering nine different players on the team are from California. 

The Gaels then traveled to Villanova, Pennsylvania in late January for the Villanova Invite tournament. They were slated to play two games, one against Harvard University and the other against Villanova University.  

The game against Harvard was cancelled, but the team managed to achieve a 21-14 win against Villanova. Graduate stars van Reeken and Wydan executed their highest goal average thus far, with van Reeken putting in five goals and Wydan putting in six.  

There are 26 games left in the season, with the 2022 Princeton Invitational tournament approaching Feb. 11 and 12. The Gaels are expected to face Bucknell, Saint Francis and Mount St. Mary’s in the tournament before moving onto the Courtney Fisher Invite Tournament at the end of February.  

The winning streak is hoped to be kept throughout these games before moving into the last tournament before regular conference play. The team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to compete in the Wolverine Invitational tournament in early March. There, the expected opponents are Salem University, Bucknell, St. Francis and the powerhouse University of Michigan.  

The Gaels then have sixteen regular conference games scheduled against teams such as Marist, Sienna, Wagner College and La Salle after they return from Ann Arbor. Iona will look to improve on their conference play this season, as they went 2-7 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last year.  

Regardless of their performance in the MAAC however, the team will be guaranteed a berth in the MAAC championship tournament at the end of the season.  

The 2022 MAAC championships will be held at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York on April 24 and 25.