of Week 6 By Looking Ahead
By Aaron Brown
PLAINFIELD, IL -- Some of the results from
last week, and especially last weekend, could easily be described as
confusing. After all, #8 St Ignatius beat the #1 team in the state (Oak
Park) just a few days after losing to #11 Loyola in a Catholic League
matchup. On the girls' side, #1 Lyons dominated #2 St Ignatius 16-4 in the
title game of a tourney at UIC. And that's just the beginning...
Oak Park retained the top spot in the rankings this week, since
they can still look back to earlier this season when they beat #2 Naperville
Central at the Fenwick Tournament. That win still stands out as the best
indicator of the elite teams in Illinois in 2010, but there is still a lot
of water polo to be played this season. Why not flip-flop the teams after
Naperville Central ran the table at their own tournament this weekend?
Simply put, the two teams meet for the second time this
weekend at the Fenwick Tournament, so the Redhawks will get their chance for revenge
at 1:00pm on Saturday against the Huskies in a showdown between the top two teams in the state.
A week later, Stevenson will host a tournament including
the top two teams mentioned above, plus Brother Rice, the third-ranked team in
the state. The Crusaders have yet to face either the Huskies or Redhawks,
but they may get their chance in two weeks in Lincolnshire. In the meantime,
the Crusaders host their annual tournament this weekend before the potential
big matchups with the two top teams.
And it would be foolish to write off teams like #4 Lyons,
#5 Fenwick (who also attend the Stevenson Tournament and play Oak Park,
Naperville Central, and Mundelein next Saturday as well), or #6 Latin. And
as we have seen this past weekend, no one should write off a team like #8 St
Meanwhile, the Lyons' girls have been on a mission in the
past few weeks, putting up double-digit wins over several ranked teams.
Other than their 12-goal win over Ignatius, they beat #7 Loyola
16-1, #14 Latin 16-2, #18 Sandburg 19-6, and #20 Evanston 18-0. Those
performances, plus an impressive home win over #8 Mother McAuley and two
wins over #6 H-F, catapulted
them to the top spot over a week ago, and they hope to hold onto it until
the end of the season.
The Lions aren't the only team with impressive
showings in 2010, however, as the new #2 team, Naperville Central, traveled to
Michigan over the weekend and won the Jenison Tournament. In the process,
they beat #4 Hudsonville, #5 Rockford, #7 Ann Arbor Pioneer, and #10
East Kentwood, according to the Michigan Water Polo Association's official
rankings. The Redhawks and Lions don't meet in the regular season in 2010,
but they could be on a collision course to meet at the state tournament in a
#3 St Ignatius, whose only losses have come to Lyons and
Winter Park (FL), won't have to wait long to try again against LT, as they
head to LaGrange for a rematch with Lyons on Saturday morning. Before that,
however, the Wolfpack travel to Naperville to take on the Redhawks on
Thursday night at 5:30pm. Rough.
Rather quietly, #5 Fremd has also remained undefeated as
we enter the seventh week of the season. They recently scored wins over #11
Young, #13 Stevenson, and #19 LWE, and they will get their chance to
showcase their talents when they play at home against Naperville Central on
And why would we go without mentioning the defending
champions, #4 Fenwick? The Friars play host to Naperville Central on
Tuesday, effectively making Week 7 the biggest of the 2010 season thus far.
There is plenty more to discuss when it comes to team
performances as we move through the season.
For example... how do you explain #8 St Ignatius losing a
Catholic League contest against #11 Loyola earlier in the week, then turning
around to knock off the top team over the weekend? There are more questions
than answers at this point of the season. By looking ahead, maybe
we will figure it out.
Later this week, we'll discuss the rankings and some of
the above questions in an article titled: RANKINGS: Why They Matter and
Why They Don't?