Monmouth College has finally made it official on Tuesday when the school announced that both the men's and women's water polo team would move up to varsity status. The men's side was a given for awhile that they would make the leap, but adding the women's side is an added bonus.
Alex de la Pena, the Scots swim coach and head of aquatics sports at Monmouth, feels this is a great move for the school:
"The elevation to a varsity sport for both the men's and women's water polo teams will put us in a great position to have a very strong aquatics program," explained de la Pena. "Polo and swimming go hand-in-hand. We're looking forward to the start of a tremendous program at Monmouth."
The men's team will be playing in the Western part of the Southern Division with Mercyhurst University, Gannon University, Notre Dame College, Washington & Jefferson College, Penn State Behrend and Salem International University. Playing in that division does give Monmouth a fighting chance to become a solid team.
The one interesting note is that on the men's side, Monmouth will not be playing any home games while they are in CWPA. There is no elaboration but that likely seems to mean just league games, it is hard to justify not allowing them to host teams at their campus for a non-conference tournament.
As for the women's team being added, it comes at a good time since Colorado State just announced that they are dripping their women's program. Also, this adds another truly Midwest team for women's water polo to go along with Notre Dame College, Indiana, Macalester College and Michigan.
However, the women's program is going to be joining the Division III ranks, and will be grouped with Carthage College, Connecticut College, Grove City College, Macalester College, Penn State Behrend, Utica College and Washington & Jefferson College.