MWPA Announces Week 4 Girls Top Ten Rankings
The Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) has released their Week 4 Girls Top Ten rankings. Check out the breakdown of each squad below.
#1 East Grand Rapids Pioneers
Eat Eat Eat Eat. It was a big week for the Pioneers really if only for the second game they played this week. Justin Hulsebus' Pioneers stayed perfect (13-0) and won a pair of top ten games. They topped Zeeland 17-5 on the road, and came home for the second 1 vs. 2 match up in their own pool in 13 day. They last time, EGR was #2 when they topped Rockford 9-3. Now, the Pioneers were defending the top spot and hosted #2 Hudsonville. The Eagles had a chance on the final possession, but the Pioneers won it 9-8 and staked their claim as the top team in the polls. They've clinched first place in District 2 and get a first round bye with a perfect District record.
#2 Hudsonville Eagles
The three-time defending state champions had a busy week and went 4-1. Ian Hewett's Eagles battled #1 East Grand Rapids on the road to a one-goal loss in which they had a shot to tie it at the end of regulation, and have that experience in their pocked as they wrap the regular season. The Eagles topped then #8 Zeeland as well as now #10 Jenison this week to finish with a perfect District record again to hold on to the #1 seed in District 2.
#3 Rockford Rams
The Rams took care of business this week. After topping then #2 Hudsonville last week, their encore was a 10-5 win over #4 Grandville. They Rams played a close game with Grand Ledge at the District Seed tournament, but were able to win all but one of their district seed games this regular season to settle into second place in the challenging District 2. Katie Clarin's Rams get #6 Hotel/Okemos, #7 Zeeland and #10 Jenison between now and next Monday.
#4 Grandville Bulldogs
Their high volume of games leads the state, the Bulldogs have played 22 and won a state-high 17 of them so far. They're 6-5 against top ten teams, and the only losses on their schedule are to teams ranked #1, #2 or #3. Much like the Grand Haven boys, Mitch Fountain's Bulldogs have managed to beat teams sitting behind them in the rankings. The Bulldogs have two wins above their rank this season (April 24 vs. Huron, March 26 vs. Rockford) and have floated between 3-5 in the rankings after a #7 preseason ranking. They get #10 Jenison in a District Seed game this week.
#5 Ann Arbor Huron River Rats
The good news for the River Rats is they're winning close games. The better news is it's come against ranked teams. Mary Chatigny's River Rats held off #6 Hotel/Okemos 10-9 this week, and had to battle their way by the #10 ranked Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles who are starting to surge of late. The River Rats have just one loss this season, and as the schedule has gotten more and more challenging, everyone is seeing their ability to win close games now as well.
#6 Hotel/Okemos Co-Op
Madi Zink's traveling show managed a pair of District seed wins this week, a win over then #9 Saline on the road and a narrow one goal loss to #5 Ann Arbor Huron who sits right in front of them in the polls. Give the team one coach has nicknamed Holtelkemos (Looking at you, Ian Hewett) credit, after a long lay-off, they're playing a brutally strong strength of schedule in iron-sharpens-iron fashion as they prepare for the stretch-run. They draw #3 Rockford in a District Seed game this week.
#7 Zeeland Dux
Zeeland has, much like Hotel/Okemos had a very strong schedule. They fell to #2 Hudsonville and #1 East Grand Rapids this week but took care of business otherwise. Half of Zeeland's 12 games have come against ranked teams. Dave Vruggink's Zee's are also tied for second place in District 1 and get the team they're tied with a week for today in a game that could decide who gets the #2 seed.
#8 Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles
What team do you not want to see late in the season or for a second time? A team coached by Rebecca Godek, that's who. Look out for the Eagles who are starting the make some moves after an up-and-down start. The first time they played Ann Arbor Huron, the River Rats ran away with a nine-goal win. This week? One-goal game. The first time they played Saline, the Hornets stole one, scoring twice in the last minute to tie it before winning in overtime. This week? Revenge is a dish best served in the water: a 9-8 Eagle win. Look out for the Eagles in the competitive District 4.
#9 Birmingham Seaholm Maples
The Maples remain unbeaten. Voters may wonder what the team is outside of the district, and Kellie Howe is here to oblige them. We'll all know a lot more when they play Ann Arbor Pioneer and #1 East Grand Rapids as they really put themselves to the test coming up. They also draw rival Birmingham Groves this week as they look to sweep the District Seed schedule. Should the Maples win their District tournament, Pioneer is the current fourth seed in District 4, and this match-up could be a preview of what's to come at Regionals.
#10 Jenison Wildcats
The J-Cats are always hard to play against and put up a fight regardless of record. Nicole Vos' Cats went 1-2 this week, but forgive them for a loss to #2 Hudsonville and #4 Grandville (whom they caught a little ground on at the end of the contest). Jenison gets a second opportunity at Grandville this week in their own pool for the all-important District Seed game. The Wildcats have one win above their ranking this season, but typically only get better as the year goes on.
On the Line: Saline, Grand Blanc, Ann Arbor Pioneer.
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's during the mid day. Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.