The UF Water Polo Women's club team has had an unforgettable 2018 season so far. The size of their program nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018, and the A team is currently ranked #1 in the Southeast region and #4 nationally!
"We recently traveled to California to compete against some of our biggest competition and we left the tournament with 3 wins and 1 loss to #1 UC Davis," Emily Stevenson, UF Water Polo Secretary told me.
Unfortunately, the club’s celebration was cut short in San Francisco when they returned to their rental van to find it had been robbed.
“All of our backpacks were stolen, which included 6 laptops, 1 iPad, 1 Kindle, wallets, passports, chargers and other school necessities. Our total losses amounted to over $10,000,” Emily explained. “As student athletes in the midst of exams, assignments and projects, we were heartbroken and scared for the remainders of our semesters.”
The girls created a GoFundMe link to help restore their stolen belongings, which has seen major support from the water polo community as well as other donors!
“Olympians were reaching out to their followers with the GoFundMe link, and CWPA and USA Water Polo tweeted about us.”
The team has currently raised $3,950 of their $7,000 goal!
"The overwhelming support we are seeing from the water polo community warms our hearts. We are all friends bonded through this amazing sport," Mariana Lombello, UF Water Polo Treasurer told me.
The girls are hopeful that more donations are still on their way to help everyone who was affected get back on track.
Emily explained that despite their hardships their team camaraderie is truly amazing. They are always hanging out, throwing parties, getting dinner after practice, and just having fun; teams within their region comment on how amazing their relationships are!
Recently, the team hosted the annual CWPA tournament at UF’s Florida Pool. The most thrilling game of the weekend was UCF vs. UF A Team. UCF is the #2 team in their region, but the girls shut them out 8-0!
“This weekend the B team competed extremely well against other schools. The energy of the B team is elevating throughout the season,” Cece Lepa UF Water Polo B Team Captain told me.
“Humble to practice, confident to compete- that's the motto our team lives by. I couldn't have asked for a better team to be a part of,” Marcela Gallardo, UF Water Polo A Team Captain told me.
-Taylor Norberg, Marketing Assistant