MWPA News Wire
MWPA Releases Week 4 Top Ten
The Michigan Water Polo Association (MWPA) has released its week four coaches poll after a 70+ game week, the busiest in the MWPA this season.
Below is a breakdown of the week that was for each team.
1 - Hudsonville Eagles (18-3) | #1 PRI (.8439)
The only thing that ever brings their PRI down is their opponents records....because the Eagles just keep on rolling, rolling, rolling. Thy are still unbeaten (13-0) against Michigan foes. The annual Hudsonville-Zeeland tournament saw them take out #2 EGR and #3 Rockford in back-to-back games. They suffered a one goal loss to perennial Illinois power Adlai Stevenson (season series now split at 1-1), but rebounded nicely with a shutout of Oak Park. The Eagles shutout two opponents last week, and Ian Hewett's Eagles are primed for another big week with Jenison and East Grand Rapids on the clock.
2 - East Grand Rapids Pioneers (16-6-1) | #4 PRI (.7106)
Raheem Brown's Pioneers are an impressive 13-4 against Michigan opponents, tied with Hudsonville and Chelsea for second most wins in the state this season. They took a hard-fought loss to #1 Hudsonville, but managed to get by #3 Rockford and #8 Forest Hills to maintain their status as state-wide #2 this season. The Pioneers have the state's second hardest schedule (.605 opponent win percentage) and have set themselves up nicely, having clinched the top spot in District 2 already (4-0 with the tiebreaker over East Kentwood). #1 Hudsonville amongst others looms this week.
3 - Saline-Milan Chickadees (11-3) | #2 PRI (.7613)
It has been a long, winding road back to this point for Saline-Milan,. Ranked #3, Saline was mostly always in this area for several years over the course of the 2008-2018 stretch. They're 9-1 against Michigan teams, and scheduled the most unique tournament of the year, seeing teams from Pennsylvania, Canada, and Ohio at home last weekend. Alli Littlejohn has an important week ahead with two seed games and a shot to clinch the top seed in District 4. They get Dexter and #9 Ann Arbor Pioneer this week before wrapping their last four regular season games in a five day stretch from April 29-May 4.
4 - East Kentwood Falcons (15-8) | #8 PRI (.6347)
Jarod Lane and the Falcons earned their promotion into the state's top four after a stunningly fast 2-1 home victory (Three quarters, quarter breaks and half time took less than 40 minutes) over the previously #3 ranked Rockford Rams. Suddenly the Falcons, a team in search of a signature win until this week, are in second in District 2 with tiebreakers over Rockford and East Lansing. The Falcons get #8 Forest Hills on the road Thursday night in a pivotal District contest for both teams. Win, and they have all but locked up a first round bye.
5 - Jenison Wildcats (17-2) | #3 PRI (.7284)
The Wildcats may feel they should be up another spot after defeating East Kentwood by one on Saturday, but their PRI and record speak for themselves, the Wildcats are en-fuego. Spencer Sanders and company haven't lost a game in nearly a month (March 28). The schedule is back-loaded which should bring their strength of schedule up exponentially. They visit #4 East Kentwood tomorrow (April 25), #1 Hudsonville Thursday, #6 Rockford (whom they have not played) next Tuesday, and still have Pioneer, East Grand Rapids, Skyline and a second date with East Kentwood on the clock. We're about to find out a lot about the Wildcats.
6 - Rockford Rams (12-9) | #9 PRI (.6078)
Rockford is coming off of a brutally challenging couple of weeks. A return from spring break visit to #1 Hudsonville, an upstart (then) #10 Forest Hills team, a trip to the Stevenson tournament, match-ups with then #6 East Kentwood, #2 East Grand Rapids, Stevenson again, and #1 Hudsonville is about the toughest three week slate we've ever seen. Because of it, the Rams have now played the state's most challenging schedule by very large gap of 18 points. Katie Clarin and company have another pretty stiff test this weekend with East Kentwood and Skyline visiting. Next week, Jenison and East Lansing are in town.
7 - Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles (7-2-1) | #5 PRI (.6738)
We haven't seen a ton of the Eagles yet, but we'll see them an astonishing 12 times in the next two weeks or so. Rebecca Godek and company polished off back-to-back 14-3 weeks and now get Ann Arbor Pioneer (tonight, April 24) with a chance to put third place Chelsea in a sticky spot in District 4. Listen to this gauntlet to end their regular season: Walled Lake, East Kentwood, Rockford, East Grand Rapids, Jenison, East Kentwood again, Forest Hills, and East Lansing. That's a lot of polo against some pretty darn good teams.
8 - Forest Hills (10-7) | #10 PRI (.5924)
Forest Hills have no doubt, been a fun story this year. But the seriousness of their situation now takes shape. They're technically fourth in District 2 as Rockford has the tiebreak. Sara Fredricks and her upstart Foresters take on East Lansing tonight (April 24) with a chance to lock up a tiebreak over EL, and then get second place East Kentwood. Forest Hills mathematically can still get to third, but Rockford has sixth place Mason and current fifth place East Lansing left to play. By the end of the week, East Lansing and Forest Hills could essentially jockeying for position of which cap color they'll wear in their District Quarterfinal against each other.
9 - Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers (11-6-1) | #7 PRI (.6392)
Will Hart is a winner. Sometimes you have no idea what the guy is doing, but it mostly just seems to work, right? Well how about playing all of their District Seed games this week, five games in five days? Skyline, Chelsea, Huron, Dexter, Saline-Milan all in that order, Monday-Friday. They wont have a single after school practice this week. Unique scheduling for sure, but pressure makes diamonds, and the Pioneers who have lurked in good position for most of the year are about to show their true colors.
10 - Walled Lake Cobras (9-3) | #6 PRI (.6504)
The busiest portion of the Cobra season is nearly upon us. They have two games this week, but seven leading into Districts an an eight day span. The Cobras are 9-3, and suffered a loss to #9 Ann Arbor Pioneer this week. They visit Skyline on April 27 before a pivotal match-up with Birmingham Seaholm to potentially decide the district race on May 2. Claire Bartosic has the Walled Lake girls out to the best start in school history. The Cobras have every opportunity to make it the best season in school history, and the time to make that happen is here.
On the Line - Ann Arbor Huron, East Lansing WPC
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 Mondays during the season Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.