Alumni Game Photo Gallery
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford Women's Water Polo celebrated its rich championship tradition during the Homecoming weekend, highlighted by the alumni game which took place Saturday morning.
Players from both the club and varsity eras were present to celebrate, share and relive memories of their playing days on The Farm, including Nicole Huszcz ('03), who arrived for her first five-year reunion.
Twenty-two people participated in the actual game, including Olivia White, Mo Eger and Heather Rodde (celebrating their 10th reunion), and Lindsay Tam (Holland), all members of the first varsity women's water polo team in 1996. Many others stayed dry including Vickie Chan Lents and others who where here for their 20th reunion.
Another special highlight of the day was having six alumnae who paved the way for today's Cardinal players by starting the first club water polo team during the 1976-77 season.
The six alumnae, Megan Edwards '78, Jacqueline Heslop McCook '78, Wendy Seamans Bardet '78, Kathleen Wineman Prior '78, Nori Gerardo '79 and Nancy Patterson '79, many of whom were also celebrating their 30-year reunion, conducted a roundtable discussion and spoke to players past and present about their experiences and shared numerous stories.
Pictures of the first-ever team at Stanford, tournament shirts, and fancy medals from the 1970s were shared with the varsity players.
Many of the team's current upperclassmen were touched by the chance to talk with the pioneers of Stanford Women's Water Polo.
"Listening to those founding water polo alumnae describe their college water polo experience was not only extremely interesting and educational, but also humbling," said junior driver Kelly Eaton. "It reminded me of how blessed we are to have the Stanford Water Polo community (alums, families, staff, etc) volunteering an extreme amount of time, resources, and support that female athletes in the past did not have. Watching their strong personalities also made me realize how the 'spirit of the team' that we build while we're here together has not left them to this day."
"The motivation, energy, fight, and will to not back down still drives them to be the accomplished women they are today, and inspires me to not only apply these characteristics in the water polo pool, but towards life," Eaton added.
"Their stories left me with a feeling of pride for what Stanford Water Polo has accomplished in 30 years and gave me motivation to remain connected to our team throughout my life after Stanford," said senior driver Heather West.
Freshman Pallavi Menon, who hails from Palo Alto, got her first taste of the Alumni Game experience and a chance to face off against some of the very same players she looked up to years ago.
"Playing in the alumni game was a surreal experience for all the freshman," Menon commented afterward. "For me particularly, it was unreal to finally be able to play with alum's I've watched play for Stanford since I was kid. The alumni game was an amazing way to be welcomed into a family, and into a tradition of excellence."