Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dynamo WPC Wraps Up Historic Trip to USAWP Junior Olympic National Championship



Twelve young ladies from Dynamo Water Polo Club made history in late July 2017 when they became the first Georgia-based team ever to compete at the U.S.A. Water Polo Junior Olympic national championships.  The tournament, known as "JOs," is the pinnacle of youth water polo competition in the United States.  The 2017 JOs were held in 20+ pools spread across Orange County, California.  The event brings approximately 10,000 athletes - as many as a Summer Olympic Games - together for a week of Boys and Girls competitions.  The Dynamo WPC squad of girls ages fifteen and sixteen ("16U"), qualified for the event with their 2-1 record and second place finish at the USAWP Southeast Zone Qualifying tournament, held June 17-18 in Orlando, FL.

"Our long term goal when we started the Dynamo Water Polo Club youth program was to send teams to JOs," explained head coach Monica Szalma.  "I am extremely proud of these young ladies for supporting each other and working hard to reach this goal in just our second season. The biggest reward for us coaches is to watch these athletes set an example for the rest of the zone; that there are strong players outside of Florida willing to put in the hard work and compete at Junior Olympics. Finally, we are excited for the exposure that our athletes gained with various collegiate programs around the country."

"Playing at JOs is so much fun and such a great team experience to play against other teams from across the country at such a high level of competition" reports Jaime Matherson, the only Dynamo player with prior JO
experience. Jaime and her family moved to Atlanta last summer from northern California, where she played for the highly-regarded 680 Drivers Water Polo club. Jaime, a rising 10th grade student at North Atlanta High School, continued: "Playing on a water polo team from Georgia at JOs and to be on the first female team ever to qualify from Georgia has been a goal of mine since we move here from California."

Dynamo's first game was a reunion for Jamie as the team squared off against none other than the 680 Drivers (Danville, CA).  680, the #2 overall seed in the tournament, has placed several girls on the USAWP national teams and has players sign NCAA Division I scholarships every year.  Despite a 19-0 loss to 680, one Dynamo player called it the best water polo match she'd ever played.  Dynamo was more competitive in the remaining matches and maintained a positive outlook the entire trip as they compiled a 2-5 record overall.  Dynamo finished 46th among the almost 100 total 16U Girls teams at the event.

One highlight among many on the trip was a ten-minute USAWP interview of the team after the team upset #22 seed Chelsea Pier (CT) 8-7.  The thrilling match was capped off with a critical penalty shot block by DWPC goalie Caitlyn Hurst with ten seconds left to preserve the win.  The Dynamo girls can't wait for the edited video to run on the USAWP YouTube channel.

"Water polo has been an organized Georgia high school club sport for over a decade," explained DWPC Youth assistant coach Stuart Sheldon, "but only in 2017 did we get enough 'travel' players to attempt to qualify for USAWP JOs." 2016 saw twenty-four players; the count jumped to almost 60 in 2017. The roster included players from eight different high school teams and a number of first-time players. Athletes ages 12-18 practiced three times a week from February through July.

The USAWP Junior Olympic tournament features the top teams from each of the eleven Zones across the country. It is the place for college coaches to scout players and, outside of the Olympic Development Program tournament, is the best place for USAWP national team coaches to see players in action. The Southeast Zone includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

Player - High School (Unless noted, schools are in the greater Atlanta area)

Savanah Buch - Gainesville (Gainesville FL)
Ava Callis - Collins Hill
Molly Haynes - Grady
Caytlin Hurst - Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)
Grace Lacoursiere - American Heritage (Delray, FL)
Jaime Matherson - North Atlanta
Ella Murphy - Northwest Guilford (Greensboro, NC)
Cameron Ragan - Wheeler
Grace Sherman - Veritas Classical Schools
Maddie Ta - Riverwood
Allison Vermaak - Campbell
Megan van Wijk - Home Schooled
Clare Wheeler - Atlanta Girls School

Coaches
Monica Szalma - Head Coach
Stuart Sheldon - Assistant Coach

Match scores (opponents seed listed first; DWPC was 47th seed):
#2 680 Red A (CA) 19 - DWPC 0
#23 Kearns (UT) 10 - DWPC 5
#39 Spartan (MI) 11 - DWPC 10
#42 Puget Sound (WA) 15 - DWPC 2
#22 Chelsea Pier (CT) 7 - DWPC 8
#45 Napa Premiere (CA) 3 - DWPC 7
#41 Lyons (IL) 7 - DWPC 2

Special thanks to our sponsors: 
Turbo, Kap7PowerBar & Sports DeKalb; to the staff and volunteers at USAWP who put on a great event; and to the team parents who took care of so many details throughout the trip.

Dynamo, DynaMITE! See everyone again in 2018.

Photos:

Dynamo Water Polo Club celebrates after an 8-7 win over higher-seeded
Chelsea Pier WPC (CT) at the 2017 USAWP Junior Olympic national championship
tournament in Orange County, CA.

Dynamo Water Polo Club played seven matches in three different pools over
four days...and logged over 500 miles in "Peaches," their rental
van...during the 2017 USAWP Junior Olympic national championship tournament
in Orange County, CA.







Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PowerBar Cup is coming

The 19th annual PowerBar Cup is just over a month away.  To get everyone
pumped up, check out this t-shirt from 1993, the third year of our club.  At
the time we were Atlanta Water Polo, based out of the old Georgia Tech
pools.  (An indoor 25 meter pool and an outdoor 50 meter pool).  Both were
replaced by the current GT Aquatic Center for the Centennial Olympic Games
in 1996.



Georgia Killer Whales masters swimmer Bill Lotz was spotted wearing the
shirt earlier this summer.  "It had been undisturbed at the bottom of my
t-shirt drawer for quite some time," explained Bill, "so I thought I'd give
it some fresh air."

The Atlanta Invitational tournament was renamed the PowerBar Cup in 1998 and
the rest is, as they say, history.

If your interested in bringing a Masters Team to this year's tournament check out this page.  The High School bracket is already full!

Dynamo, Dyna-MITE!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dynamo WPC Youth Score Big On First Trip To USAWP SE Zone Junior Olympic Qualifying Tournament

DWPC Youth teams and coaches celebrate after the girls second
win on Saturday.  The boys were rowdy in the stands with loud cheers and
body art that promoted the insta-hit #DynamoDubSZN tag.


DWPC Youth had a great time at the USAWP JO Qualifying Tournament in Orlando
this weekend.  (In USAWP, Junior Olympic is the highest level of domestic
competition for 18&U water polo.)  It was our first time to the zone
qualifying event.  Both squads - 16&U Girls, 16&U Boys- went 2-1 including
several wire-to-wire upset wins over established FL squads that had everyone
talking.  Our Girls squad finished 2nd overall and have tickets booked to
Irvine CA for the JO national tournament July 27-30.

Scores:

Girls (2-1): 16-1 vs. YCF, 11-4 vs. Orlando Thunder. 2-17 vs. Miami Riptide.


Boys (2-1): 17-2 vs. Miami Bluefin, 9-7 vs. Orlando Thunder, 2-13 vs. South
Florida WPC

As important as the results in the water was the impression our kids made
out of the water.  Many other coaches and parents complimented their
sportsmanship and team spirit.

The athletes, families and coaches of the Dynamo Water Polo Club Youth
program want to thank our great partners Dynamo Swim Club, Kap7 & Turbo,
PowerBar, Sports DeKalb and USA Water Polo for your support.  We couldn't do
it without you!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dynamo hosts first-ever USA Water Polo youth tournament in Georgia




Head Coach Monica Szalma leads off a little prematch #DynamoDynamite cheer
Photo credit: © Ellis Vener http://www.ellisvener.com

The weekend of May 6-7 was one for the history books as Dynamo Water Polo Club hosted the first-ever USA Water Polo youth tournament in Georgia.  64 girls & boys from Gator Water Polo (Gainesville, FL), STAR Aquatics Water Polo (Greensboro, NC) and DWPC came together for fun and fellowship.  In addition to great 16U & 14U matches for both boys and girls, the event also offered mixed games, with teams decided on deck.  On Saturday night, 100+ players and parents gathered for dinner together at host Doubletree Hotel, just minutes from the pool.

The games in Atlanta were a phenomenal experience for our athletes and their families, reflected STAR WPC head coach Eric Gordon.  “We’ve been working hard to establish the sport in North Carolina but there are very few teams for us to play against. Competing against teams from Georgia and Florida was a chance for our teams to play together against players their own age and to use and build upon the skills that we’ve been practicing.”

The event featured a San Diego Shores Water Polo Club reunion on deck STAR WPC head coach Eric Gordon caught up with Dynamo masters players and Shores alumni Kristina Garcia and Kevin May, whom he coached as 16Uers at the storied SoCal club.


Thanks to our sponsors Turbo USA Water Polo, KAP7 Water Polo, PowerBar & Sports DeKalb for their support of this venture.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Tennessee Dogwood 2017 Tournament Results

 
Congrats to the 10 strong Dynamo squad that traveled to Knoxville to compete in the 2017 Dogwood Tournament hosted by the University of Tennessee Club Water Polo Club.  Chilly mornings didn't damper the outdoor water polo fun, or sunburns. Our squad went undefeated through 5 games to take home the title.

Scores:
Dynamo vs. Vanderbilt - 14-3
Dynamo vs. Columbus, Ohio - 8-3
Dynamo vs. University of Tennessee - 15-3
Dynamo vs. University of Kentucky - 15-3
Dynamo vs. Columbus 11-8



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Congratulations to our Dynamo Youth players selected for 2017 Southeast Zone Teams



Congratulations to our Dynamo Youth players Jaime Matherson, Grace Sherman Alison Vermaak for their selections to the 2017 Southeast Zone Teams. Wishing them the best of luck at this year's ODP National Championships. 

For more information regarding the Olympic Development Program and Zone Team section please see the following information posted online via USA Water Polo at:  Olympic Development Program.

Know any youth interested in playing polo?  Good news! The Dynamo Youth Spring season starts soon. Please visit here for details and instructions to sign up!