is the Biggest Week
By Aaron Brown
Last week could very easily be described as one of the
biggest of the 2010 water polo season in Illinois. After all, the Fenwick
boys' team made a strong statement with wins over Oak Park and Naperville
Central after losing to both teams earlier in the year. Brother Rice still
has not lost this season, as they beat Fenwick earlier this year and went
undefeated at their own tournament over the weekend.
On the girls' side, Fenwick beat Latin and Naperville
Central in overtime games, St Ignatius beat Naperville Central 6-5 on
Thursday, lost to Lyons 9-7 on Saturday, while Lyons and Fremd still
maintain perfect records in 2010.
And that's just the beginning...the list of other
interesting results and exciting games from last week are staggering, but
I'll leave the rest of those to be read on the blogs and scoreboards from
the past week so I can get to my main point.
BOYS WATER POLO
While everything that happened in Week 7 was important,
Week 8 could be even bigger. The key tournament on the boys' side is the
annual event at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, a tournament that
often times serves as a preview to the state tournament each year. This
year should be no different.
On Friday night, #2 Fenwick takes on #4 Naperville
Central at 6:10pm in a rematch from Saturday's 12-6 Fenwick win. In the
next game at 7:00pm, #1 Brother Rice faces #3 Oak Park in the biggest test
of the season for the top-ranked Crusaders.
Those two games, played at the host site of the 2010
state tournament, should give everyone a sense of where they stand as the
postseason closes in. The next day should be just as intriguing, as the
winners and losers of the above listed games could meet in the
championship round on Saturday night. The rest of Stevenson Tournament is
filled with potential state contenders, including Mundelein, New Trier,
Palatine, and Stevenson.
But that's not all! On Monday night, Fenwick hosts #5
Latin in a major test for the Romans, who enter the contest with a 22-2
On Tuesday, matchups like New Trier-Mundelein,
Loyola-McHenry, and LWE-Sandburg fill out a schedule loaded with
intriguing contests. And the rest of the week features games between H-F
and Naperville Central, Latin and New Trier, and plenty of other matchups
that should shed some light on how teams will fare when sectionals come
GIRLS WATER POLO
There are still plenty of questions surrounding the
girls' side of things as well.
Fremd has also quietly amassed a perfect record in
2010, but they will face their biggest test of the season when they take
on #4 Naperville Central at home on Thursday. Before that, they travel to
#9 Mundelein on Monday night and must avoid looking ahead to the matchup
with the Redhawks.
Speaking of Naperville Central, they continue the
toughest part of their schedule when they play host to #8 McAuley on
Evanston, who have been on fire recently, face a huge
test when they battle #3 Fenwick on Tuesday.
Tuesday night also features interesting matchups like
#9 Mundelein vs #14 New Trier
#7 Loyola vs #18 Young
#21 Sandburg vs #23 Lincoln-Way East
#19 Wheeling vs #24 Hersey
From a coverage standpoint, I appreciate that none of
the Top 25 teams play in a weekend tournament, thus allowing me a chance
to figure out what happened earlier in the week. Although a fixture
between Lyons and Mundelein is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon.
A NOTE ABOUT RANKINGS
With some interesting results from that past weekend,
there was an expected reshuffling of the rankings on both the boys' and
the girls' sides. Much of that was a result of head-to-head matchups and
those results...in a way, it would have made just as much sense not to
release any rankings until after next week's results (and especially next
weekend's Stevenson Tournament).
Keep in mind that the rankings are used primarily as an
indicator of who is playing the best water polo at the current time and
not a prediction of who will play the best water polo when the most
important time of the season rolls around...the postseason!