Iona women’s water polo ranked fifth in conference


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Brian Kelly enters his 28th season as head coach of the Iona men’s and women’s water polo teams.  

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s water polo team is ranked fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) pre-season coaches’ poll.  

The Gaels received 57 points with one first-place vote. Tied for first place in the poll were Wagner College with 89 votes and seven first-place votes and Long Island University with 83 votes and one first-place vote.  

Marist College is ranked third place with 83 votes and one first-place vote, and La Salle University rounded out the top five in fourth with 66 votes overall.  

The Maroon and Gold were ranked ahead of Villanova University who received 54 votes, Mount St. Mary’s University who had 37 votes, Saint Francis Brooklyn University with 35 votes, Siena College with 29 votes and Virginia Military Institute rounds out the rankings in tenth place with 13 votes.  

Jordan Van Reeken was tabbed to the MAAC water polo all-preseason team as a utility player, for the third straight season and fourth time in six years. The graduate student hailing from Trinidad and Tobago played all 31 games for the Gaels last season and top scored with 90 and 132 points. Van Reeken also led the team in drawn exclusions and steals, which led to her being named as All-MAAC first team selection, while also being named in the All-Academic team as well as an Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-American honorable mention.  

Head coach Brian Kelly also announced the team’s full schedule for the upcoming season, with the Gaels set to play 28 matches. 

Iona will start their season at the Curtis Robinette Memorial Tournament held in Erie, Pennsylvania, where the Gaels will begin with a double-header against Mercyhurst University and Bucknell University on Feb. 18. They will then return the following day for another double header against Penn State Behrend College and Gannon University to conclude the tournament.  

The Gaels then travel to Princeton, New Jersey to compete in the Princeton Invite. Here, Iona is set to play a double-header against La Salle University and Bucknell University on Feb. 24 and will return to play Harvard University and Chapman University on Feb. 25.  

In Iona’s final regular season tournament, they will travel to Pomona, California to play in the Claremont Convergence Tournament. The Gaels will begin the tournament by playing University of Southern California and Claremont-Mudd-Scrips College on March 3 and University La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer College on March 4.  

Iona will then conclude their trip to California with a game against California Lutheran University on March 6.  

MAAC regular season play begins for Iona with a triple-header in Poughkeepsie, New York against Mount St. Mary’s University on March 18, followed by two games against Saint Francis Brooklyn University and Siena College on March 19.  

The Gaels are scheduled to play Connecticut College twice on March 22 and April 12, which splits up MAAC opponents for the remainder of the season.  

The MAAC Championship will be held in Poughkeepsie, New York from April 28- 30. The tournament will be a six team, single elimination tournament, meaning the Gaels will need to finish in the top six of the MAAC regular season standings to qualify.  

In the opening round, the third seed and sixth seed play, and the fourth and fifth seeds play with the winners going into the semifinal round. The winners of these games will go onto play the first and second seeds depending on the team’s regular season records.  

Last season Iona failed to qualify for the MAAC tournament, after finishing sixth in the regular season standings with a 16-15 overall record and 7-9 in MAAC play.  

The Gaels will be hoping to qualify for the tournament this season and compete for the MAAC Championship title.