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Women's Water Polo Begins Inaugural Season

Wildcats lose to Navy, 9-7, in first match.

March 16, 1998

With the start of the Princeton University Invitational on Feb. 27, came the beginning of a new piece of history in Villanova University women's water polo. The Wildcats began their first season as a varsity sport against Navy, coming up on the short end of a 9-7 hard fought defeat.

In the loss, sophomore driver Bridgitte Bayster (Chicago, Ill./ Fenwick) tallied a team-high four goals and eight assists.

In Villanova's second contest of the season against Harvard, the Wildcats' again lost a close hard fought game 11-10. Freshman Carrie Boyle (Redlands, Calif./ Redlands) and Bayster each finished with three goals, while sophomore Joie Merhefka (Mechanicsburg, Pa./ Cumberland Valley) scored two goals.

Villanova's struggles continued after four winless games at Princeton, as the Wildcats lost their first two contests of their spring break trip to California. Four of Villanova's six losses, however, came by two goals or less. Against Occidental on Saturday, March 7, the Wildcats broke out of the the streak winning their first game of the season and first-ever varsity water polo match 11-10. Bayster led the Villanova attack once again with five goals and 10 steals, while Marhefka scored four goals.

The Wildcats kept up the outstanding play in their next game, as they got two or more goals from five players en route to a 16-1 victory. Bayster scored a team-high five goals, while Boyle and Marhefka each had three goals and sophomores Sharon Fuller (Erie, Pa./ McDowell) and Carolyn McCoppin (Sierra Madre, Calif./ Flint Ridge Sacred Heart) scored two apiece.

Villanova will take their two-game winning streak into the CWPA Tournament on March 14-15, at home in the Villanova Swim Center.