Iona women’s water polo begin 2023 season


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Last season the team did not qualify for the MAAC championships, only the top four teams in the regular season qualify for the tournament.  

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s water polo team have begun their season going 3-1, at the Curtis Robinette Memorial Tournament hosted in Erie, Pennsylvania.  


The Gaels were ranked fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference behind the nationally ranked teams Wagner College and Long Island University, who were tied for first-place, Marist College in third and La Salle University in fourth.

Iona spilt the first day of competition on Feb. 18. The Gaels opened the 2023 season with an 13-6 victory against Mercyhurst University. Jordan Van Reeken, a MAAC preseason selection and graduate co-captain, scored three goals in the win, as did graduate student Sydney Brightenburg and sophomore Jenna Handali.

In goal, freshmen Lola Trujillo made three saves on eight shots from Mercyhurst University, while classmate Sadie Sallas made five saves on eight shots.

A 16-15 defeat against Bucknell University concluded the Gaels’ action on the first day at the tournament. Despite trailing for most of the game, Iona rallied, timing the score at 15-15 with 44 seconds remaining, but the Bison scored in the last second to seal the Gaels to their first defeat of the season.

Van Reeken again led the team in the defeat, scoring six goals from nine shots, while Brightenburg and Handali also both contributed again, scoring two apiece.  


After splitting the first day of action, Iona swept the second with a pair of wins against Pennsylvania State University and Gannon University.  


Iona thrashed PSU in the first game of the day 25-8, while all the 14 players in the squad saw action in the game. Iona also had 12 different scorers during the victory.  


The Gaels scored 25 from 33 shots against PSU and 12 of the goals were assisted with Van Reeken, Collins and sophomore Remy Ickes with two each.

The team concluded the tournament with a 17-8 win against Gannon University. Van Reeken topped her single game high for goals in a game of seven, which was also against Gannon in the same pool back in 2019. Current assistant coach Rebecca Matthew holds the single-game record with ten goals.

Natural outfielders Sadie Sallas and Nola Trujillo again shared the goalkeeping position with Iona’s two regular goalkeepers Lilly Morris and Gabrielle Brozovic both out due to injury.

“Overall, it was a good opening weekend for us,” said head coach, Brian Kelly in an interview, according to the ionagaels website.

“We had a chance to win all four games and learned a ton about our team,” Kelly said. “I’m looking forward to reviewing the film and improving. We have a busy upcoming schedule.”

Next up for the Gaels, they are competing at the Princeton Invite, in New Jersey on Feb. 24-25. They will compete against La Salle University and Bucknell University on the first day of competition, while the second day features games against Harvard University and Chapman University.