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Klein ’22 leads Bears to victory over Golden Knights

Klein cites encouragement from seniors as factor in win, says team aims to beat Harvard, Princeton

Last Sunday, the women’s water polo team faced Gannon University at the Harvard Invitational tournament in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Up 6-5 going into the fourth quarter, the Bears went on a rally to outscore the Golden Knights 5-0 during the period, ending the contest at an 11-5 advantage. Katie Klein ’22 paced Brown’s offense in the match with a game-high three goals, posting one in the first, third and fourth quarters. The first-year attacker from Lafayette, California also leads the Bears in goals this season with 29 total. For her impressive performance against Gannon, Klein has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on the great performance last weekend against Gannon University! What was the team’s mentality like in the last quarter of that game?

Klein: We’d lost a couple of really close games earlier in the weekend that we were really bummed about. One of our seniors said to us before the fourth quarter, “Let’s just finish it out guys. It’s been a long weekend, but let’s give it our all.” I think that really just brought us all together. We don’t have any more games until spring break, so it was just one of our seniors saying ... “Let’s just come together.”

As a first year, you’ve already had a tremendous impact on the team this season. What’s enabled you to perform so well early on?

A lot of it has to do with our team and our coach. Everyone, from senior to freshman, is very encouraging of each other. It seriously doesn’t matter what grade you’re in. Everyone is a firm believer that everyone plays a role on our team, and so I think that plays a lot into it. Our coach is also so good … He doesn’t care if you’re a freshman — everyone can make an impact. He’s really good at placing people where he thinks they’ll do the most. It’s just a combination of everyone being so encouraging.

When did you first start playing water polo, and when did you decide you wanted to play in college?

I started playing in third grade. I wasn’t super into the idea at first, but my sister was playing and she loved it. She actually ended up playing at Princeton, and so my parents just said, “You need to try it.” Our parents were always pushing us to try as many sports as we could, and so I tried it and ended up loving it with my first tournament. I don’t know exactly when I decided that I was going to end up playing in college, but it was always on my mind since … eighth grade or freshman year.

How did you choose Brown?

My sister went to Princeton like I said, and she had a great experience. I had always followed in my sister’s footsteps in everything we’d done, and I knew I wanted a similar experience to hers, but not exactly like hers. I did look at California schools a lot, and I was ultimately deciding between Brown and USC (University of Southern California). What put Brown over the edge was that (Head Coach Felix Mercado) is honestly just the best guy. He’s a great coach, and I really wanted to play for him. School wise, the open curriculum was something I couldn’t turn down, and I just think Brown is the perfect combination of sports and school. It really allows us to get the best of both worlds.

What are the team’s goals for the rest of the season?

We’re definitely making big strides trying to get better. I think our loss to Harvard by one goal was pretty brutal, but I think it was really a staple in our season. Going forward, we definitely want to start beating teams like Harvard, Princeton and Bucknell. We just want to beat teams that we know we can beat.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.



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