POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist water polo team will host and compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament this weekend at the McCann Natatorium. The team will be looking to win their fourth championship in the past five years and fifth overall.
The Red Foxes (18-18, 10-2 MAAC) enter the tournament as the second seed and will play third-seeded Wagner in the second semifinal on Saturday at 3 p.m. Top-seeded Iona will play Villanova, the fourth seed, in the other semifinal which will take place beforehand at 1 p.m. The consolation and championship game will take place on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
A banquet will precede the tournament on Friday evening where the MAAC will announce the postseason awards. Up for grabs are the All-MAAC First and Second Teams, MAAC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year.
Senior captain Jaclyn Puccino (San Diego, Calif.) lead the Red Foxes in each offensive category with 91 points on 45 goals and 46 assists. Freshmen Jessica Hamby and Alison Hamby (Sacramento, Calif.) are second and fourth on the team with 43 and 41 goals scored, respectively. Alison has also assisted on 27 other goals to put her second on the team 68 points. Shelby Rinker (Lansdale, Pa.) is third in points with 67 points on 22 goals and 45 helpers. Seniors Kelly Kline (Reading, Pa.) and Desiree Desaulniers (Orlando, Fla.) have 42 and 35 goals, respectively. In goal, Rebecca Thomas (Cape Town, South Africa) has been a brick wall saving 64% of opponents' shots on goal. Her goals against average is an outstanding 7.65, leading to her being named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week five times this season.Marist won three straight MAAC titles from 2008-2010, defeating Iona in each of those seasons. Last year's tournament, which was also played at Marist, saw the same top three seeds. The Red Foxes however fell in the semifinals to Wagner by an 11-10 score in sudden death overtime. Desiree Desaulniers (Orlando, Fla.) scored a game-high five goals and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Marist went on to win the consolation game 9-5 over St. Francis (N.Y.).