Women’s water polo qualifies for the MAAC tournament


photo courtesy of ionagaels.com

The team last won the MAAC title back in 2013.

Lachlan Wellington, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s water polo team qualified for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships after a pair of wins at the Hynes Athletic Center on April 15.  

The Gaels beat Siena College 17-11 and Saint Francis Brooklyn University 12-10 to qualify for the MAAC tournament despite losing to Marist College 9-12 on April 16.  

Lola Trujillo led the Gaels against Siena College with five, while graduate student Jordan Van Reeken scored four and Karsyn Stewart two. Gaels goalkeeper Lily Morris also scored a goal from the other side of the pool and made three saves and had two steals.  

In the game against Saint Francis Brooklyn University, Jenna Handali led the Gaels with three goals, while Lola Trujillo, Sydney Brightenburg and Emily Geld all scored two. Five Gaels had one assist each including goalkeeper Lily Morris who also had six steals and eight saves.  

The Gaels lost to Marist College 9-12 the next day. Despite levelling the score in the fourth quarter at 9-9 with 7:32 left to play, Iona could not find the net again as the Red Foxes scored three to sink the Gaels.  

Despite losing to Marist College in their final regular season game, Iona have qualified for the MAAC Championships which will be held from April 28-30 at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York in the McCann Natatorium.  

The 2023 MAAC Championship is a six-team, single-elimination tournament with Iona likely to be the four or five seed as they have a tied record with Mount St. Mary’s University. The other schools to qualify is the one seed Wagner College, who went unbeaten during the regular season with a 13-0 record, the two seed Marist College (12-1), the three seed Long Island University (10-3), then Iona and MSM (7-6) and the six seed La Salle University.  

Iona finished with an overall record of 16-12 and 7-6 in conference play going 3-1, at home 1-1 away and 12-10 at neutral venues. The Gaels winning percentage overall this season was 57.1% and 52.8% in conference play, which is an improvement on last season where they went 51.6% overall (16-15) and 43.8% in MAAC play (7-9).  

This season marks the first time since 2019 that the Gaels have qualified for the MAAC tournament after four seasons away.  

The Gaels will face Mount St. Mary’s University in the MAAC opening round as the four and five seeds face off, and the three seed LIU and six seed La Salle University face off.  

Wagner College and Marist College will get byes into the semi-final round on April 29 as the winners of the opening rounds will play these teams. The final is pencilled for April 30.