The Maryland Terrapins program is a fairly new women's varsity water polo program, but this year is likely to be their last unless the team can rais eight years worth of funding since water polo and many other sports are being cut. Maryland is doing their best to raise the money to save their sport and so far has raised $8,244 out of the $4.2 million needed for the funding. The sad thing is that this program has been well above average since their team as a varsity team by being ranked nationally and doing well at the Eastern Championships.
Their head coach Carl Sayler was nice enough to answer a few questions about their season. So far Maryland is 5-3 on the year and has wins over UC San Diego and nearly upset No. 11 ranked Indiana Hoosiers who will be a team to beat in the CWPA in 2012. Maryland is also ranked No. 14 in the latest top-20.
1. What expectations do you have this year for your team?
We expect to compete for our conference championship. It will be tough, Indiana I believe is the favorite and then anyone in the top 7 or 8 could win it if they are peaking at the right time.
2. What are the strengths of your team?
Any success we have this year will be as a result of how well we play as a team, and that is our greatest strength.
3. What would qualify to you as a successful season this year?
1st goal is to win Easterns. After that it would be based on how we competed, did we finish strong, did we give ourselves chances to win games?
4. Can you tell me about your incoming freshman for this year and how they will fit into the team this year?
We have four freshmen, and they all are contributing to the team. They have all worked hard all fall and winter. Zoe [Respondek] is a quick player that makes great decisions and is a play maker that can score as well. Danielle [Robinsion] is a outside shooter that can play any position in the pool. Rebecca [Gerrity] is a tough post up, driver that can defend 2M and score some great goals from the inside. Hailey [Smith] is a sharp shooter, give her a good look at the goal and the ball will be in the back of the net.
5. What players do you think could have a breakout year?
I think that the team is ready for a breakout year, and like I said earlier we will do that as a team.
6. Do you think there is a chance with your fundraising efforts that you will be able to raise the money to save the Maryland program?
YES! We are thinking outside of the box because of the size of the number and the time frame, but we 1st need to show broad base support from the water polo community. Follow us on twitter @MarylandH2OPolo and on our Facebook page SAVE UMD WATER POLO and sign the petition on saveumdwaterpolo.com. Anyone that can donate $10, $25 or more can find the donation link at our saveumdwaterpolo.com site. We need as many water polo fans, players, etc to do these. We have some opportunities, but we need to show broad base support. Please sign our petition, follow us on twitter and Facebook and every donation helps!
Thanks again to Coach Sayler for discussing his Maryland team and hopefully they can continue their program at the varsity level since there are not a lot of them on the East Coast.