Monmouth College is expected to make their official move from Division III to varsity status, but there is another MIdwest team with hopes of one day making the same leap as Monmouth, and that is St. Louis-Based Washington University.
Currently Washington University is a Division III school, and has been a solid program over the past few years with a Division III club national title in 2011, and were runner-up Monmouth this past fall.
Over at Total Water Polo, they got in touch with Coach Nathan Todd, and Captain Tim Greer about what this varsity move means for their school. Both said that the school has no current intention of moving up to varsity, but with another Midwest school making the move, it could be a conversation starter:
"This change in status for their team is the first step in our club's potential change to varsity status. We know that we can compete at their level, so we feel that if Monmouth has the talent to go varsity, we do too," Greer said.
Overall development of the sport in the region is also important to the Bears. "I am very happy for Monmouth's entry into the varsity scene...Their move shows me that water polo in the Midwest is moving in a positive direction," said Todd.
"A team from the Midwest does not have the luxury of playing close teams and would have to travel to the east coast or west coast for most varsity competition. This may provide Monmouth College some problems in their infancy as a varsity team. However, I hope that they do not let these difficulties deter them from keeping their varsity status."
It does not seem that Washington University is going to make the jump anytime soon, but one has to think that their athletic department might be keeping an eye on how well Monmouth fares in their first few years at the varsity level. If Monmouth can perform well then that would bode well for Washington University, and other Midwest teams looking to make the leap.
If another school or two from the Midwest makes the jump from club to varsity it will greatly aid a school's ability to compete and not have to spend as much money to compete. This could possibly be a domino effect of adding schools in the area, and the men's varsity ranks can definitely use more teams.
With so many CWPA teams already playing club in the Midwest, if there is enough growth there could be another division, or conference formed. Looking at you Big Ten.Washington University is going to be keeping an eye on how Monmouth does in their first few years at the varsity level.