The Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) has released their Week 2 Girls Top Ten rankings. Check out the breakdown of each squad below.
#1 East Grand Rapids Pioneers
More like EATS Grand Rapids, because the Pios FEASTED in their return to play. While there were few secrets about the depth of their experience coming into play, Justin Hulsebus' Pioneers left very little doubt who the new big kid on the block was. Road wins, by solid margins, over then state #1 Rockford and state #3 Grandville helped the Pioneers out to a perfect 6-0 start over their first week of action. Further, the Pioneers are comfortably in the Driver's seat in challenging District 2 (three ranked teams) at 3-0.
#2 Hudsonville Eagles
Much the same about East Grand Rapids could be said for the three-time defending state champion Hudsonville Eagles. The Eagles played four games and won them all convincingly to open the season. Ian Hewett's Eagles are in first place in the deep District 1 (four ranked teams), and picked up a win over then state #3 Grandville. Hudsonville will draw #3 Rockford on the road this week to try and hold position.
#3 Rockford Rams
Take into consideration Rockford's ONLY two losses are to state ranked #1 East Grand Rapids and #5 Grandville (whom they later avenged the loss to) and you understand that Katie Clarin's Rams clearly are in the upper end. Their loss to East Grand Rapids put them down a game in District 2, but Rockford still has the second most wins in the state of any team (7) this season. They'll get their opportunity to fight their way back up in the polls when they lock horns with the Hudsonville Eagles this week.
#4 Ann Arbor Huron River Rats
Mary Chatigny's River Rats only played twice this week, but their 31-0 goal differential speaks for itself. The Rats haven't played a ton yet, but have clearly showed they can put the ball in the net. Their lowest single game output is 12 goals (Saline) this season. This weekend, the Rats will test their mettle and see the team right behind them in the standings (#5 Grandville) for their first top-ten action of the year.
#5 Grandville Bulldogs
The busy Bulldogs continue to hammer in games at the highest clip in the MWPA (12 so far to lead all teams). The Bulldogs lead the state on both sides with nine wins. Their three losses (two of them this week) have come to the following: State #1 East Grand Rapids, State #2 Hudsonville, State #3 Rockford (whom Grandville is 1-1 against this season). Mitch Fountain's Bulldogs went 4-2 this week with losses to #1 and #2, and they have a clear opportunity to climb this week when they battle #4 Ann Arbor Huron this weekend in Ann Arbor.
#6 Zeeland Dux
Talk about your gutsy performances - a severely shorthanded Zeeland squad faced a daunting task: a district seed game against then #8 ranked Jenison. Dave Vruggink pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a 12-10 win in the contest, and later moved to 2-0 in the district with a win over Portage. The Zee's continue to draw some strong individual performances when needed, and shot back into the rankings this week for it.
#7 Birmingham Seaholm Maples
Fear the Leaf! Seaholm continues their undefeated climb into the top ten, clocking in now at seventh (their highest position of the season). The Maples had one of the state's best goal differential, and survived a one-goal district seed scare to unranked Grand Blanc to stay unbeaten and alone in first in District 3. Kellie Howe's Maples are a perfect 5-0 thus far.
#8 Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles
The Eagles have great strength of schedule - they saw three top-ten teams this week including state #1 East Grand Rapids and state #5 Grandville. Though the Eagles sustained losses, and another to Saline in their district seed game, they continue to grow and turn some heads as they continue their gauntlet of a schedule. Rebecca Godek has four top-ten games on the schedule behind her out of seven games played.
#9 Jenison Wildcats
Nicole Vos' Cats move just one spot back following their district seed loss to Zeeland. The close game was a road game, and Jenison still has some strong results to their name. The Wildcats are 1-1 against top ten teams amongst their 4-1 record. The Wildcats have stayed all in the West Region, but with that, they've played teams that are either in the top ten or on the edge of the top ten in nearly every outing.
#10 Hotel Okemos Co-Op
Idle this week, there's little to go on but it's promising for Madi Zink's squad. The barnstorming Hotel Okemos group returns to action this week. In terms of their relation to the poll, their lone result is a 12-5 win over Birmingham Groves. Groves lost by one to Grand Blanc, who lost by one to #7 Birmingham Seaholm. Yes, that's a long stream of what-ifs, but the voters have this group in at 10 due to returning experience in the stiff competition of District 2.
On the Line: Saline, Ann Arbor Pioneer, Grand Blanc
What is "On The Line?": The first three teams outside the MWPA Poll in terms of percentage points - listed for context.
Understanding the Poll: The poll, open to all MWPA Head Coaches, is ranked via a point-percentage scoring model. The points column is percentage of points scored by voters against the maximum total, which is based on number of voters. The period that would signify percentage has been dropped off the beginning of each number.
Unanimous first place ranking nets a score of 1,000 points.
Coaches vote weekly during the season. Polls will be updated Monday afternoons at 12 pm ET. Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.