MWPA Releases Week 5 Top Ten
The Michigan Water Polo Association's (MWPA) week five coaches poll has been released following a wild week with several top ten upsets.
Below is a breakdown of the week that was for each team.
1 - Hudsonville Eagles (23-3) | #1 PRI (.8738)
Five times they took the water this week, three they won by double-digits, one they defeated a top five team by nine, and then dispatched Evanston (Illinois). The Eagles are rollicking along at a perfect 17-0 in state. They get West Ottawa and Zeeland this week as they bid to claim the District 1 regular season sweep headed into the District tournament. A full week without games awaits Ian Hewett and company following their May 4 contest.
2 - East Grand Rapids Pioneers (17-6-1) | #2 PRI (.7209)
Almost quietly the Pioneers have been exceptional this season. They took some early season lumps, but have lost just once to an in-state foes since March 23rd (both to #1 Hudsonville by four and three goal margins). Perhaps the top contender to unseat the Eagles, the Pioneers have already clinched the District 2's top seed with a log-jam behind them at second. Raheem Brown and company still have six games on the schedule including four against top ten teams. They host the District two tournament as well.
3 - Rockford Rams (18-9) | #5 PRI (.6558)
Back in the saddle again, the Rams quickly erased memories of the previous week's upset district loss at East Kentwood and won five of seven games, falling only to #1 Hudsonville and Evanston (Illinois). Katie Clarin's Rams revved up the offense for a couple double-digit performances, but also avenged their East Kentwood loss with a 7-2 win on Friday night in their own pool. The Rams have one ranked game left amongst three games this week.
4 - East Kentwood Falcons (18-11) | #8 PRI (.6313)
The Falcons took a big leap last week thanks to a win at Rockford, but then ran into a series of mixed results. The Falcons lost by one to Jenison last Saturday, then avenged it on Thursday with a 6-4 home victory. After defeating Forest Hills that same Saturday, Forest Hills returned fire and put the Falcons in a bind that could soon turn into a three-way tie in District 2. The Falcons lost to Rockford in the rematch, but handled Ann Arbor Skyline and Ann Arbor Huron to cap a rollercoaster week. Jarod Lane and company have five games left on the docket, including four against top ten teams.
5 - Saline-Milan Chickadees (14-4) | #3 PRI (.7115)
The Chickadees looked poised to romp their way to a District 4 regular season top seed, and then ran into #9 Ann Arbor Pioneer, who handed them a narrow 5-4 loss. It puts them in what may become a three way tie for first if they can handle Chelsea tomorrow (May 2), a tie that they would finish second within behind Ann Arbor Skyline due to goal differential. Still, Alli Littlejohn and the Chickadees have a lot to be proud of in the midst of the state's biggest turnaround this year. They wrap their district schedule and then get one more contest at Grand Blanc before the postseason begins.
6 - Jenison Wildcats (17-4) | #4 PRI (.6859)
A tremendously challenging two week slate to run into the end of the year is underway, and there's no shame in either of the two losses (@ #4 East Kentwood 6-4, @ #1 Hudsonville 10-1). Still, the Wildcats have just one district seed game left and it comes at home against Grandville. They still have to see five ranked teams in their final six games as tournament play awaits Spencer Sanders and the Wildcats, who look to lock up second position in their district this week.
7 - Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles (10-5-1) | #4 PRI (.6859)
Should Rebecca Godek and company clear tomorrow's hurdle at Ann Arbor Huron, they move into the top spot in District 4 and possess all tiebreaks to own that spot into the District tournament. After Tuesday, that'll be far in the rear-view. A brutal slate features #2 East Grand Rapids, #4 East Kentwood, #6 Jenison and #8 Forest Hills this coming weekend as the Eagles travel West.
8 - Forest Hills (12-8) | #10 PRI (.5970)
Talk about emotional roller coasters! Monday - Defeated East Lansing in District Seed game, Tuesday - Upset by unranked West Ottawa, Wednesday - Probably Sara Fredricks settling the crew down at practice followed by Thursday - a 5-2 District seed win over #4 East Kentwood, the highest ranked team Forest Hills has ever defeated. No rest for the Purple and White, they get a six game week with four ranked opponents this week, including a rematch with East Kentwood on Friday.
9 - Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers (14-7-1) | #6 PRI (.6494)
HART ATTACK! Which is what you all would have had if you had to play five district seed games on five straight days. They went 4-1 in impressive fashion. Unfortunately for them, their loss to Ann Arbor Skyline hurt their goal differential, and should there be a three-way tie for first, the Pioneers come out on the bottom of it. Nonetheless, a 4-1 week including a win over then #3 Saline-Milan was an important one as they get their post season psyche in order.
10 - Walled Lake Cobras (10-4) | #9 PRI (.6025)
The lone representative of District 3 split the week, beating Mason 6-4, before turning around and falling on the road at Ann Arbor Skyline. They still have an enormously important week. At writing time, the Cobras are boarding the bus for Birmingham Seaholm, where the Maples and Cobras will duel for the District 3 top seed. They also see Huron twice this week, and have a weekend tournament on the docket. Claire Bartosic's defining moment of an uplifting season for the Cobras could come tonight...but we think she'd prefer that moment come a few weeks from now.
On the Line - Grandville, 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.