2017 Water Polo Season Review
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 05/24/2017
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

LEXINGTON, Va. – Coming off one of the most successful seasons in VMI Athletics history, it is an understatement to say the 2017 water polo season was one for the record books.

The Keydets, under the leadership of third-year head coach Ryan Pryor, took the program to an elevated level and raised the standard of success for years to come. Pryor, named the BSN Sports MAAC Coach of the Year, guided the squad to a program-best 22 wins on the year, 10 more than the previous best set in 2013. The Keydets also qualified for the postseason MAAC Tournament for the first time in its six-year history. Just two weeks prior to the league tournament, VMI received its first national ranking in program history, entering the CWPA poll at No. 25 on April 19 after defeating No. 23 Marist in overtime the previous weekend.

First Team All-MAAC recipient Shelby Barkley broke the program's career scoring record after tallying 86 goals during the course of the season and now has 207 for her career, topping former teammate Mackenzie Perkins' all-time mark of 191 goals from the 2012-15 seasons. Fellow junior Natalie Rivas earned Second Team All-MAAC honors, while freshman goalie Isabel French was named the MAAC Rookie of the Year after leading the league in saves for the year with 286.

Senior team captains Bailey Huddleston and Cecilya Lundy played instrumental roles in the team's unprecedented success as both entered the Top 5 in the record book for career matches played and goals scored.

A summary of both team and individual VMI Water Polo Record Book accomplishments attained during the 2017 season is outlined below:

Ryan Pryor
BSN Sports MAAC Coach of the Year
VMI's Nathaniel Pendleton Coach of the Year

Team
Most Wins in a Season - 22
Most Goals Scored in a Match – 23 (March 16 at Occidental, W 23-14)
Most Goals Scored in a Season - 404
Highest Goals per Game Average - 13.46
Second Fewest Goals Allowed in a Season - 311

MAAC All-Academic Honorees
Sarah Dolitsky
Bailey Huddleston
Caroline Wojtas

Individual
Isabel French
MAAC Rookie of the Year
MAAC Defensive Player of the Week (twice – Apr. 12, Apr. 19)
MAAC Rookie of the Week (twice – Mar. 15, Apr. 5)
Most saves in a match – 19 (Apr. 2 vs. Iona (third most at Clark King Pool); Apr. 15 vs. No. 23 Marist)
Third most Goalie Minutes Played in a Season – 855
Best Goals-Against Average in a Season (Min. 150 minutes played) – 9.72
Second Most Goalie Saves in a Season – 286
Second Most Goalie Starts in a Season – 30


Shelby Barkley
First Team All-MAAC (first time; two-time second team honoree)
MAAC Offensive Player of the Week – March 22
Second Most Goals in a Season – 86
Most Goals in a Career – 207
Consecutive Games Scoring a Goal – 32 (since Apr. 17, 2016)

Natalie Rivas
All-MAAC 2nd Team - 2017

Cecilya Lundy
Fourth Most Goals in a Single Season – 67
Tied third for Most Goals in a Career – 166
Third Most Games Played in a Career (non-goalie) – 109
Third most Consecutive Games Scoring a Goal – 19 (3/4/17 - 4/2/17)

Emma Noble
Fifth Most Goals in a Season for a Freshman – 32

Bailey Huddleston
Fifth Most Goals Scored in a Career – 164 (2014-17)
Second Most Games Played in a Career (non-goalie) – 113 (one shy of Mackenzie Perkins' top mark) 

 


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