History

The Men’s Water Polo Club at UGA was founded in 1998 as a social group who was interested in water polo. The club joined the CWPA in the fall of 2006 where it competes competitively in the CWPA Southeast Division during the fall semester. The team’s final standings in this conference were 2nd (2007), 3rd (2008), 4th (2009), 1st (2010), 4th (2011), 3rd (2012), 1st (2013). The club also travels out of state to few tournaments in the spring and has hosted an Annual Spring Classic Tournament at UGA beginning in 2005. More recently, the club’s involvement and participation in the state of Georgia has increased through working with high school athletes, traveling to master program’s practices, and competing in local off-season tournaments.

2006
The 2006 season marks the University of Georgia’s first as part of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. UGA has six players returning from the previous season. The offense will rely heavily on senior Dimi Matouchev, and juniors John Weatherford and Matt Mullen to score. On defense, the Bulldawgs have a refreshed look with sophomore JR McMillan taking the two-meter position and senior Will Hamby-Hopkins guarding UGA’s goal. The team also has six new players joining the squad in addition to a new head coach Ed Opalach.

2007
Carrying momentum and experience from their first season in the CWPA, the University of Georgia Bulldawgs are looking to have a breakout year. An exciting combination of experienced players will be bolstered by talented new members. Under the guidance of coach PF Gay, the Dawgs are eager to face the competition in the new Southeast Division and fight for the division title.

2008
The University of Georgia Bulldawgs are ready to take on the Southeast Division. After placing second in the Southeast last year, the team will not settle for anything less than a bid to the national championship this season. Team captain Alex Webb, Dave Courter and John Weatherford are primed to earn All-Conference honors and lead the Dawgs to the postseason.

2009
Georgia enters the new season after placing third in the Southeast last year, but will not settle for anything less than a bid to the National Collegiate Club Championship at Florida this season. Under the leadership of coach Will Hambry-Hopkins, the Bulldawgs are motivated to return to the Southeast Division title game for the first time since 2007 and punch their ticket to Gainesville, FL for a shot at the title.

2010
The Georgia Bulldawgs enter the 2010 season as a very different team from a year ago when they ended with a disappointing fourth place finish at the Southeast Division Championship. Now under the leadership of coaches Chris Maurer and Stephen Hagerman, as well as seniors Lawson Floyd and Phong Nguyen, the Bulldawgs look to incorporate the talent of a quickly maturing younger cast including Alan Carroll, Graham Kellams and new starting goalie Drew Duckett. With this blend of skill, speed, and experience, this squad should prove to be a heavy contender for its first title game appearance since 2007 in the ever-improving Southeast Division. With a perfect season, the Dawgs establish themselves as a division powerhouse.

2011
Georgia enters the 2011 season coming of off the program’s first Southeast Division Championship and a 13th place mark at Nationals. This year, the team hopes to continue its success. However, the Bulldawgs have much to prove after losing First Team All-Conference players Austin Stahley and Lawson Floyd.  Thus, the team will rely heavily on the skills and experience of its returning starters Chris Maurer, Andrew Withers, and Second Team All-Conference player Stephen Hagerman. Open spots in the starting lineup will provide the opportunity for younger Bulldawgs, including sophomore Alex Lembeck, to develop into impact players. Also, a large freshman class guarantees that Georgia will have plenty of talent on the bench this season as they worked to prove worthy of another Southeast Division title.

2012
The University of Georgia holds the upcoming 2012 season in high regards. With the motto “Finish,” the team is ready to reclaim a division championship that some of the team’s members got a taste of two years ago. The starting six players are not afraid to take a shot from the outside, which will hopefully lead to a strong offensive team. Returning senior Drew Duckett will hold down the cage on the defensive end as one of the strongest goalies in the division. Strength off the bench will play an important role in the team’s record this year with a group of new experienced players join the team. Leading the ranks is freshman Kevin Hughes, who is taking the initiative to lead his teammates to victory, along side of returning Bulldawgs Chris Maurer, Wilson Couture, Phong Nguyen, Alex Lembeck, and senior Graham Kellams. The 2012-2013 Men’s Club Water Polo Team won various awards in the CWPA Southeastern Divisional Conference including: Kevin Hughes as Honorable Mention All-America; K. Hughes as MVP All- Conference; K. Hughes and Alex Lembeck as First Team All-Conference; Wilson Couture and Drew Duckett as Second Team All- Conference; and W. Couture as a Student- Athlete Representative. Additionally, the team had 3 Superior Scholar- Athletes and 6 Outstanding Scholar- Athletes. Highlights from the Fall 2012 season were tying for first in the regular season and finishing third place overall in the conference championship. Also, this year was the first year the team had a member win MVP and All- America in the club’s history.

2013
The 2013-2014 team has an exciting season ahead. As defending runner-up in the regular season, the team plans to start the season strong to win the CWPA Southeast Division conference championship and qualify for nationals in California. Various members have committed to practicing over the summer at local master programs; some high school seniors have been contacted to consider joining our club; and, team has taken multiple opportunities to practice with other high school and master teams. With the largest number of experienced and committed players thus far, the team’s depth will not be an issue. Under the guidance of student-athlete and coach Phong Nguyen, the Dawgs will have to refine defensive tactics, as Georgia’s main weakness will be in goal. Losing All-Conference goalie Drew Duckett will be tough to replace, but senior Alex Lembeck is ready to turn away shots. Helping compensate will be strong hole players like freshman John Roquet, the Georgia high school State Tournament MVP, and sophomore Christian Saupe, a returning starter. Meanwhile, be on the look out for fast breaks from starters Wilson Couture, James Jacobi, and junior Kyle Smith. Georgia’s greatest strength will be the defending MVP of the division Kevin Hughes who will be playing set and taking outside shots. With even more talent sitting on the bench this year, the Southeast Division better beware of the Dawgs!

2014
The University of Georgia has high hopes for the 2014 season as the Bulldogs bring back plenty of talent in the field. Two-time Southeast Division Most Valuable Player Kevin Hughes will once again be the primary offensive weapon for the two-time division champions (2010, 2013). Hughes will be supported by fellow All-Conference players Christian Saupe and Wilson Couture. Alex Ballasiotes will move into goal to fill the void left by the loss of All-America honorable mention Alex Lembeck. The Dawgs look to be in good position to make it through the Southeastern Division and back to the National Collegiate Club Championship tournament again this season.

 

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