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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Water polo practices resume with hopes for spring competition

The+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Womens+Water+Polo+team+has+been+a+school+club+team+since+1997.
via Facebook Page

The Texas A&M Women’s Water Polo team has been a school club team since 1997.

Water polo has been one of the fastest-growing sports in recent years according to Team USA.
Membership has almost doubled since 2008, climbing from around 27,000 to more than 50,000 at the end of 2019.
The Texas A&M women’s water polo team was created in 1997 and has grown into a popular and competitive club sport at the university.
One key player for the team is junior Shaye Smith. Going into her third year with the club sport, Smith said this year will be different as she takes on a leadership role as a team officer.
According to the team’s website, the fall semester is primarily focused on fundamentals and building the team. In contrast, the spring semester is their competitive season.
“Right now, it’s just been a lot of organization and administrative things in terms of making sure we’re in line with university protocols and getting ready to get started,” Smith said.
Although their competitions won’t begin until next semester, Smith said the team is looking forward to the release of the spring schedule.
“We’ll hopefully get the green light in either December or January for our season to proceed,” Smith said.
While the team was only able to participate in two meets last season, Smith said she is optimistic the season will happen in the springtime and the team can get back to playing for their fans.
“We’d hate to see another season get cut for both our players and our fans,” said Smith.
Even though it is still up in the air if the 2020-2021 season will happen, both the veterans and new members of the team will begin practice in mid-September.
Based on the individual’s performance and experience, new players will be placed in either an “A” or “B” team, Smith said. The “A” team has been the reigning Texas Conference Champions since 2017, according to its website. Meanwhile, the “B” team follows close behind, typically placing third or fourth.
“Both teams compete a full season against the same teams in the same conference, and we all practice together,” said Smith.
Smith said the team is working to gather more support and attract more spectators before the start of the Spring competition season.
“The biggest thing we are trying to do is get more people out to support the team, not just the women’s but the men’s as well,” Smith said.
Water polo is a fast-growing sport in Texas and joined the University Interscholastic League back in October of 2019. Smith said joining UIL is a big step towards the sports exposure.
“We would love to grow our community and our fanbase,” Smith said. “We want to bring those athletes who played water polo in high school to A&M, but we can’t do that without our fanbase and sponsors. We would really love to see the community get involved.”
More information about registering or schedule updates can be found on their website.

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