MONMOUTH, Ill. -- For the Momouth College men's water polo team, the 2009 season should be one of old challenges and new goals as the Crab People will seek to repeat as Heartland Division champion and aspire to win the Division III National Collegiate Club Championship.
Last year, Monmouth rolled through the Heartland Division going 7-1 during the regular season with wins over Knox College (12-5 W, 9-7 W OT), St. John's University (10-7 W, 11-8 L), St. Mary's University (13-4 W), Carleton College (10-7 W), Grinnell College (10-9 W) and Macalester College (8-7 W) before knocking off Carleton (11-4 W), St. John's (13-11 W) and Grinnell (8-4 W) to capture the program's first division championship.
"Our success in clinching the division championship was due to combining our upperclassmen's experience with the heart and intensity of the freshmen," notes team captain Joe Moran.
"Since we are still a new team, we are still learning to play well together. Each season we have made significant improvements."
In the 2008 postseason, the squad finished seventh at the Division III National Collegiate Club Championship hosted by Villanova University falling to New York University (17-12 L) and Wesleyan University (14-11 L) before stopping Carnegie Mellon University (11-6 W) in the seventh place game.
"We will have our sights set on the National Tournament again next year," adds Moran. "We finished great having doubled our team's size at the start of the season, and I know that after playing together for over a year we will be top contenders at Nationals again."