The Indiana Hoosiers team is 14-4 and are one of the favorites to win the Western division and the Eastern Championships. Head coach Barry King was kind enough to answer some questions about their season.
1. What expectations do you have this year for your team?
That is a loaded question. Our expectation of this team is that we will show up everyday, practice or competition, with the desire to get better and play as hard as possible. Our goals are to win the Collegiate Water Polo Association championship and be a top four team at the NCAA Championship.
2. What are the strengths of your team?
We are a good defensive team. We shot block in front of our goalkeeper very well and our keeper is one of the best in the country. We swim well enough that we can generate some opportunities off of defense and we don't give up much in defensive transition.
3. What would qualify to you as a successful season this year?
At the end of the day, we are here to win games, so I would a successful season would include winning a lot of games. We want to play for championships. The only way we can win a championship is by playing in a championship game. I would think being in the championship game again signal a certain amount of success for this team.
4. Can you tell me about your incoming freshman for this year and how they will fit into the team this year?
We have nine freshmen on a roster of 17, thus, we need and expect big contributions from the class. Thus far we have started three of them and bring another three off of the bench early in the rotation. They are have brought quite a bit of energy to the program. They have integrated well and compete very hard. Colleen McNaught is a lefty that is shooting the ball well right now. We haven't had a lefty here since 2005 and she has added an offensive dynamic that is helping others find space in the offense. Shelby Taylor is a very solid center defender and will do nothing but improve offensively. Summer Creighton and Alexis Jones add great length for us on the defensive end. Thus far we have played 6 of the 9 freshmen on a regular basis. That will help us immensely in April.
5. What players do you think could have a breakout year?
Amanda Redfern is on her way to having a great year for us. She is getting more and more comfortable in the middle and giving us really solid minutes. However, we won't do anything positive that Shae Fournier and Cassie Wyckoff don't have a hand in. As I said before, Cassie is one of the best three goalkeepers in the country and completely anchors what we do defensively. Shae is our finisher offensively and will need to finish often for us to be successful.