Amy Olsen, sophomore member of the Iona College women's water polo team, will chronicle this season on ICGaels.com as the Gaels look to repeat as MAAC Champions and return to the NCAA Championships. A season ago, Olsen was named MAAC Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-MAAC Selection after scoring 95 points on 75 goals and 20 assists. Outside the pool, Olsen is a double major in English and Mass Communication with a concentration in Television and Video and writer for the school newspaper, The Ionian.
Our last game of MAAC play, against Wagner, was a nice finish of the regular season play. We are not only the regular season MAAC champions, but we are now seeded first for the MAAC Championship, that will begin this Saturday.
This past weekend was the Alumni Banquet. With a long week of tough practices behind us, it was a nice way to end before we go into our next week’s preparation for MAACs. We have a great group of alumni that give both the men and women’s programs a tremendous amount of support. On banquet day there is a family swim, an alumni game, and a dinner, where honors are given and athletes, past and present, are recognized.
Above all, this weekend was all about Iona Water Polo. Representing a team does not necessarily mean you have to be on it. Representation can come through support, or even something as simple as hoping a team does well. During the banquet I thought about how many people have, do, and will represent Iona. Even though there are men and women who have graduated several years ago, they still represent Iona and give us support. On the other hand, there are even people who have not played on the water polo team for Iona, but care about both teams. Br. Durning for instance, represents Iona by always helping us in and out of the classroom and for sincerely wishing the best for our teams.
Our women’s team has represented Iona in a few aspects this season. There are individuals on the team that have won MAAC weekly awards, and each time they do, it makes Iona as a team stand out. For the MAAC Offensive Player of the Week, Cecilia Leonard
, Mackenzie Mone
, and I have all been named MAAC Offensive Player of the Week. Marisa Gaynor
has earned MAAC Defensive Player of the Week twice, and Katie Stelnicki
just won MAAC Rookie of the Week last week. Aside from the individual awards, the team more importantly represents Iona each time we compete.
The next step for this team is mentally and physically preparing for championships. Only a fool would say that this tournament is going to be an easy one. Our first opponent is Villanova, and if we win we continue on to face either Wagner or Marist. Regardless of who we play, we will continue to fight the good fight in honor of a school we have grown to love representing.
Until Next Time,