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Strength in players, not in numbers, for w. water polo

The women's water polo team is aiming high this season, and a strong start has given the Bears cause for optimism. Bruno has started 8-1 and is ranked No. 17 in the country after avenging its only loss by beating then-No. 17 Princeton, 10-9, to win the ECAC Championship in the Tigers' own pool on Sunday.

"It is really exciting to see us come together as a cohesive unit with our five new freshmen that we have," said tri-captain Lauren Presant '10.

Yet the Bears are succeeding with a small team. Tri-captain Sarah Glick '10 said the size was a double-edged sword that required the players to do "a lot more endurance training" to prepare for the grind of playing multiple games in one day but offered benefits as well.

"It allows us to be a really tight-knit team," she said.

Presant said Bruno benefits from being a cerebral team.

"For people to be curious and ask questions and try and understand the conceptual nature of the game, it really gives us a leg up on the competition, in the sense that we're thinking through things and really adapting," she said.

The team is led by Presant and Glick — both First Team All-East selections last year — on offense and 2009 Honorable Mention All-American goalie Stephanie Laing '10.

The Bears will have to endure a tough March. This weekend, Brown travels to Indiana for the Elite Eight Championship against top East Coast schools, facing No. 18 Indiana first.

Over spring break, Brown will travel to California to play 12 games in nine days, including showdowns with No. 1 Southern California and five other teams ranked or drawing votes in the national poll.

Presant said the team's ultimate goal is to compete in the NCAA Championship.

"It hasn't been done for quite some time," she said. "The Brown program really has a lot of heart, and everyone is really determined to work hard and see what we can make out of it."


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