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Penn State Women’s Club Water Polo Heads To Nationals

Head coach Todd Roth and the Penn State women’s club water polo team will head to Birmingham, Alabama this spring to compete in the Collegiate Water Polo Association National Tournament.

The tournament, set to stretch from May 6 to 8, brings the best collegiate water polo teams to one location for a national showdown. Penn State’s team is preparing to return to nationals for the first time since 2019 — a major accomplishment after battling through pandemic-fueled adversity.

“This year has been challenging because the team has not been able to practice for the past two years due to COVID-19,” Roth said.

As many sports teams experienced, the inability of the girls to compete in tournaments and weekly practices took away opportunities for success. The pandemic would often impact workouts and conditioning, too, which would add more challenges to the team’s plate.

Penn State’s team took the lessons from the past to drive forward with determination. This year, members confidently qualified for nationals by winning their regional tournament.

“I was excited to see all of their hard work pay off,” Roth said.

Roth has been the head coach of the women’s club water polo team for 12 years now. He commended this group for its individual talent along with its unique ability to come together.

Freshman biology major Molly Brant, who plays on the team, said qualifying for nationals was incredibly fulfilling.

“I was ecstatic. After the buzzer rang I swam over to two seniors, Alyssa Bubel and Madison Ulrich, and hugged both of them in the water,” Brant said. “Everyone was so happy. We worked hard to get to that moment and successfully played together as a team.”

Brant said that in practice, the group keeps focusing on what needs to be done.

“We are also a very social team, and as a first-year [student], the entire team was very welcoming since the beginning of the year,” Brant said. “I think this was the most important part of the team’s relationship being so amazing.”

Brant said she hopes to see the program continue to be successful in the rest of her time at Penn State.

“These girls are some of my best friends and I have grown with them so much already,” Brant said. “They inspire me to be better in the water and out of it.”

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About the Author

Camryn O'Rourke

Camryn is a freshman majoring in digital/print journalism. She is also known as "Cami". She spends her summers at the Jersey Shore and is an avid poet. You can reach her on Twitter @Camryn_ORourkee, by email at [email protected], or by visiting her website: camio1414.wixsite.com/camrynorourke.

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