Water polo workhorses
Issue date: 4/10/09 Section: Sports
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The Cleveland Water Polo Club (CWPC) is the only water polo organization in the Greater Cleveland area. According to club president Kevin Ziegler, they are the No. 1 hit on Google when you type in any combination of Cleveland, Water, and Polo. The CWPC has anywhere from four - eight grad and undergrad students that participate with the team on a regular basis. Currently, Bruce Douglas, USG's vice president of public relations, medical students Jen Lynn, Mauricio Palau, Allen Lam, and dental student Andrew Sweet are on the team. Varsity swimmers John Somerville, Kevin Alland, and Dan Wolak also play with the club during the swimming offseason.
The sport of water polo is like a mixture of rugby, hockey, and team handball. Play is divided into four quarters of five - eight minutes depending on skill level. The clock stops when play is stopped by a goal, a foul, or an out of bounds ball. Each team has seven players, six fielders and a goalie. The objective for each team is to swim down the pool and throw or skip the ball into their opponent's goal. At no time during play can any player touch the side or bottom of the pool.
The CWPC practices twice a week mostly, but may practice three times in preparation for a big tournament. This spring the team has competed in three tournaments. Their latest was this past weekend at Ohio University where they finished with a 2-2 split against other club teams from Columbus, Akron, and Central Ohio.
"We aren't like a varsity sports team," said Ziegler. "Our members have a lot of other responsibilities so we like to keep everything fun."