MWPA Week 2 Girls Rankings
The Michigan Water Polo (MWPA) has released their Girl's Week 2 Poll and for a second straight week, mass movement continues within the polls.
Below is a breakdown of the week that was for each team.
#1 Hudsonville Eagles
Okay so no movement here, because the Eagles juggernauted (spell-check says that's not a verb but we're making it one!) past everyone. They beat #2 Grandville 11-1, toppled a hot #6 Jenison squad 10-2, and in four games, held opponents at one or less goals. They played a close game with #7 East Grand Rapids on the road, but turned around and swept their tournament with an astounding 49-5 goal differential. Ian Hewett's Eagles may have played a ton of close games to open the season but we think they may have bucked that trend. They are sizzling.
#2 Ann Arbor Huron River Rats
The Rats are all that (RAT RHYMES!) and more. They had just two games leading into their spring break, but swamped #10 Ann Arbor Skyline 12-2 and Walled Lake 19-0 to cap off a perfect 5-0 start to the campaign. Mary Chatigny's Rat-Pack has allowed six goals in five games, get's good goaltending, scores plenty (just a hair under 11 goals per game) which is actually slightly DEFLATED because of one game against #1 Hudsonville where they were held to two goals. The Rats flat out "Slap," as the kids say (do they still say that?).
#3 Jenison Wildcats
What a start for the J-Cats! They are rolling at 7-2, have a 4-2 mark against ranked teams. They've gone from 10th preseason, to 6th week one, to 3rd this week. The climb is aided by close wins and early season upendings of teams in front of them. Jenison managed to avenge a lopsided early season loss to #2 Grandville with a 6-5 win this weekend, and then proceeded to eke another one out in one-goal fashion over then #7 East Grand Rapids. Spencer Sanders has the Cats out to a hot start. They'll want to maintain their early pace as their gauntlet district allows no gimmes.
#4 East Kentwood Falcons
Where Jenison went from 10th to 3rd in just three weeks, the Falcons went from UNRANKED to fourth. You could say the flew (Falcons do that, you know) up the charts. Their wicked charge up the polls got a boost when they swung the upset over then #4 ranked Rockford this past weekend. They didn't allow more than six in any game this week, and scored in double-digits twice. Amelya Robyns scored nine times ("NINE TIMES," Principal Rooney voice), to help lead their furious charge up the polls. One thing is for sure, absolutely nothing is given when you're in the water with Jarod Lane's Falcons.
#5 Grandville Bulldogs
Grandville caught an early wave to start the season, and then the next wave came before they could get back up on the board. The shorthanded Bulldogs got past #4 Rockford early in the week by four, but dropped games to #1 Hudsonville and then #6 Jenison. Mitch Fountain's Bulldogs did manage to get reigning All-American Leah Green her third shutout of the campaign in the process, and now they prepare for a one-game week headed into Spring Break, looking to go into it on a higher note.
#6 Rockford Rams
The MWPA is a gauntlet and a marathon - Katie Clarin knows that. Her team was tested by two hot top ten teams early in the campaign. In a close contest, the Rams fell on the road at then #2 Grandville, and did the same at then #8 East Kentwood who started the year on fire. The Rams rebounded nicely for a win over Zeeland (receiving votes in the rankings) and have a chance, much like the team directly in front of them in the polls, to rebound and head off for Spring Break feeling better about themselves.
#7 ELODH Co-Op
We want to preface our note with this - ELODH did nothing wrong that dropped them back two spots. Their backward movement had more to do with teams behind them pulling upsets over teams in front of them. They swung a 16-8 home win over Lake Orion in their first win inside the East Lansing Natatorium in THIRTY MONTHS, as the Traveling Show of Madi Zink was finally allowed home again. They're 2-2, have played a good strength of schedule, and return from Spring break early next week to get rolling again to see if they can make a climb back up where they feel they belong.
#8 East Grand Rapids Pioneers
The Pioneers had a very positive week, and found themselves in the same spot as #7 ELODH - the victim of teams behind them beating teams in front of them. Still, East Grand Rapids played #1 Hudsonville within two goals, and managed to best a Forest Hills team that has given some teams fits early on twice. They fell to then #6 Jenison (now #3) who was on an absolute heater. The Pioneers got a monster week out of Barbara Bart (great name, the MWPA is full of great names!) who scored 18 times as EGR won three times. Now under the direction of reigning Boy's West Coach of the Year Raheem Brown, the Pioneers are starting to show their identity and it is frightening.
#9 Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles
It was a solid week and a busy one, for Ann Arbor Skyline. They played three games in three days. After falling to #2 Ann Arbor Huron, Rebecca Godek extended her bench in a 13-7 win over Dexter, then followed it up with a win over then #9 Ann Arbor Pioneer by an 8-1 final. Every game Ann Arbor Skyline has played this season has come against a top ten team or a team that has received votes in an MWPA weekly poll. Not surprisingly for a coach who schedules as hard as she can, that's some big-time battle testing. Watch out for the Eagles out of Spring Break - after an uneven start, they can become a real problem real fast.
#10 Grand Blanc Bobcats
The last time this happened, Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" was the number one song, unseating The Harlem Shake. We were just about to see Fast and Furious 6. Kanye and Kim (sorry for bringing this up, Pete) had "North West." Okay we've reinforced the point enough. Welcome back Grand Blanc! For the first time since 2013, the Bobcats of Grand Blanc are in the top ten. Let's talk less about the fact that we hadn't yet seen Henry Cavill as Superman, and more about how good the Bobcats were to start the season - they upended #9 Birmingham Seaholm and district foe Birmingham Groves - played to a narrow road loss to Ann Arbor Pioneer (who was ranked last week), and have one of the East's best players in speedy left-shot Sarah Hartwell (reigning District 3 player of the week). They're trying to make history and make their first ever State Tournament appearance. They open district play next week against Walled Lake.
On the Line: Ann Arbor Pioneer (90), Forest Hills (29), Birmingham Groves(14)
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. Polls will be updated Monday's at 11 am (Girls) and noon (Boys) ET. Inquiries on the poll can be directed to the chat feature on the MWPA website. Answering times may vary.
What is On the Line?: On the Line is the first three teams outside of the MWPA Poll. Coaches vote weekly during the season.