Edison, N.J. – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has announced the addition of the Virginia Military Institute to the MAAC Women’s Water Polo League, starting competition in the 2011-2012 season.
“VMI cadet-athletes represent great academic and sports values, like the members of the MAAC, as well as a long tradition of service to this country,” MAAC Commissioner Richard J. Ensor noted. “Having the program join the MAAC Water Polo League is a great addition that allows for the continued growth of the sport in the east.”
Women’s water polo became VMI’s seventh women’s sport when it was added to the athletic program in the summer of 2010. The women’s NCAA sports also fielded by VMI are soccer, cross country, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, outdoor track and field, and rifle. VMI is also a member of the MAAC Men’s Lacrosse League.
“VMI would like to thank the MAAC for the invitation to join the conference for women's water polo,” said VMI athletic director Donny White. “Our athletic department as a whole is excited to join such a quality conference for competition for years to come under the superb guidance of Coach Phelps.”
Head coach Anna Phelps and her assistant, husband Jeff Phelps, spent their first year on Post preparing for VMI’s first season of competition by signing nine players in her inaugural class. The class includes seven future cadet-athletes from the state of California, and two from Oregon. Included in the class are a pair of junior college All-Americans and a pair of high school All-Americans who will make immediate impacts in the inaugural Keydet water polo season. The Keydets will be eligible to participate in the 2012 MAAC Women’s Water Polo Championship, which will take place April 28-29 at the McCann Natatorium on the campus of Marist College.
The MAAC just concluded its 30th year of competition during the 2010-2011 academic year. The league was founded in 1980 by six charter members: the U.S. Military Academy, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Iona College, Manhattan College and Saint Peter’s College. In 2002, the MAAC added the MAAC Women's Water Polo League. The league is made up of three MAAC schools – Iona, Marist College and Siena College – as well as three associate members, St. Francis (N.Y.) College, Villanova University and Wagner College.