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FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Making Sense 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 Ignatius either.

 


 

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 month's time.

 

#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 April 29.

 

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?

 

Stay tuned...

 

 

 

 

 

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