Wittenberg continues to expand its athletic horizons with the addition of a water polo team in the spring of 2018. Since the start of the men’s volleyball program, Witt has been looking for a new women’s sport that would capitalize on an existing sport. This summer, a group of undergraduate interns headed a research project in search of that new sport. From the research, water polo came out to be the best fit for both Wittenberg and the women’s swimming program.
“What we are really hoping to do is to entice new students who may have otherwise not looked at Wittenberg,” Gary Williams, athletic director, said.
The team will be joining the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA). According to Williams, competitions are done over three to four weekends in the spring, making travel and expenses very cost-effective for schools like Wittenberg. Williams and his colleagues will look to a head coach this spring and, depending on the interest from campus, may try to field a club team and compete in tournaments next spring.
“The goal is for the new coach to spend the summer and fall recruiting to field a competitive NCAA team for the spring of 2018,” Williams said.
Current swim team member Elissa Manchester, ‘20, played water polo in high school and is looking forward to joining the team at Witt in the spring.
“I get to be apart of the hiring process for the head coach,” Manchester said. “Then, the head coach and I can work together on recruiting and other planning. My good friend, who got me into water polo, passed away this summer, so I wanted to do it in memory of her.”
The coaching staff are looking for women who have had experience playing club or high school water polo, but like any sport, anyone with an interest is welcome to try out for the team.
Until a new coach is hired, interested students may contact the current men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach, Will Bernhardt, with any questions.