November 13, 2007

Polo Squads Roll Over Yale and Vassar

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Although the horses may be veterans, their riders certainly were not as the men’s and women’s polo teams swept the competition this weekend with rookie lineups. For the Red men, who defeated Yale 13-9, the recent injury to freshman starter Max Constant allowed some of the younger players to experience their first collegiate polo game. Junior Tim Scott and sophomore Dan Grew mounted their horses in uniform for the first time, riding alongside junior standouts Rich Weidel and Bobby Harvey, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.
“It was a [chance] for the younger guys to experience what a real game’s like and what actually happens out there, how practice translates to a game,” Harvey said.
“It was fun to have some new kids playing with us that haven’t played before,” Weidel said.
The match was also an opportunity for Weidel and Harvey to focus on improving their individual skills.
“It was unfortunate that Max was injured but it put more burden on Bobby and I to figure out where we’re coming up short,” Weidel said.
On the women’s side, head coach David Eldredge ’81 gave his entire second string their first collegiate game experience. Without any of the usual starters, it took the Red women a chukker or so to settle their nerves and adjust to the pressure and pace in a game situation.
“I don’t think any of us took a breath for the first minute, but then after we started we all settled in and applied all of the skills we’ve learned in practice,” said junior Claudia Reyner. Once the women got rolling, they cruised to an 18-5 victory over Vassar.
“We were kind of nervous but all of us were really excited to have a chance to play,” said junior Libby Gaige. “I think by the second half of the game we pulled ourselves together and were able to work together as a team. During the last two chukkers, we started rotating better and just connecting on some of our plays more consistently.”