February 28, 2003

Polo Teams Face Clubs in Final Prep

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The men’s and women’s polo teams will look to up the ante one more time as they gear up for the Eastern Regional Polo Championships. While most of the season has been about raw power, head coach David Eldredge ’81 is currently looking to the finer points of play.

“We’re still just working at improving a lot of the little strategies heading into regionals,” he said.

The men are travelling to Ontario to face the same club team that defeated the women last weekend. One issue they will have to face is a smaller rink size. Still, the challenge won’t come from the rink, but rather from the skilled club players.

“A stronger player can control the game,” said Eldredge. “He went on to note that a skilled player could also use the rink’s size to cut things off earlier and cover any of the three riders more easily.

To combat this, and prepare for the highly anticipated rematch between the Red and UVA, Eldredge is also working on the men’s intersquad communication.

“We’ve been working on making plays to one another as opposed to making plays and reacting to it,” he said.

The hope is that the men will be able to develop a more cohesive strategy and avoid being read by UVA during their next meeting.

The women’s team will take to Oxley this weekend, as they face club action from the Ohio region. Again, the squad will be a mix of both men and women.

When asked why the women’s team continues to play mixed club teams, Eldredge was frank.

“I’ve had a problem finding women’s squads that can compete,” he said. “It’s going to be quite a challenge for the women this weekend,” Eldredge added.

While the lady riders have had an almost perfect season thus far, the coaching staff is looking to push the envelope this weekend. The team has focused on predicting plays over the past week.

“They’ve been working really well together,” said Eldredge. “It’s getting them to read the other team a little more.”

Archived article by Matt Janiga