Meet Water Polo President, Catherine Carroll

A Junior in Biological Engineering, Catherine Carroll is extremely busy with classes, studying, and water polo. From Naperville, IL, water polo has been an important part of Catherine's life for six years. At Purdue University she is the president of the Water Polo Club, where she handles all the out of the water parts like finding competitions to participate in.

Since I don't know much about water polo, she was able to answer all my questions. Here are her answers:

Her Campus: What are the basics of water polo?

Catherine: Water polo mixes elements of basketball and soccer, played in deep water, and with a lot of contact. There are six field players and one goalie. Field players may only touch the ball with one hand, whereas goalies can use two. All field players play at both ends of the pool, similar to basketball. The different roles that field players have include guard/point player, drivers, wings, and center. It works slightly like soccer, but there are differences. For example, there are no goal kicks in water polo, but there is offsides. 

Her Campus: How did you get into water polo?

Catherine: I got involved in water polo as a freshman in high school I had swam for 7 years at that point, and I was looking for something a little different. I had played soccer as a kid, so the mix of swimming and team sports seemed like something I would enjoy. I went to a club program before high school tryouts to get some experience. I played club and high school water polo for all four years, and when it came time to pick a college, the opportunity to play club water polo became a huge draw for me, as I wanted to keep going with the sport.

Her Campus: What do you love about water polo?

Catherine: It’s a team sport, which I thrive on. I compete well in teams because I know others are dependent on me to have success on the team and the last thing I want to do is let anyone down. It is also an excellent way to stay in shape, as treading in deep water for extended periods of time does wonders for your legs. It also has allowed me to become friends with people from other majors in college, which certainly would not have been as easy without the team.

Her Campus: How easy is it to join water polo?

Catherine: It is very easy to join the club team here at Purdue. You have to fill out a waiver for club sports, and a swim acknowledgement that says you can swim. At that point you can start attending practices. We do have semester dues as well that all active members have to pay. The team also participates in fundraising opportunities and community service activities together which are a lot of fun.

Her Campus: What is different about joining water polo than any other sport on campus?

Catherine: Water polo is different because we have several players who come in with absolutely no experience who learn to play the game. In most other sports on campus players come in looking to continue the sport. And while we do have a fair amount of players with experience, we do get several swimmers who are burnt out of laps and  who want to try something new. We do focus on teaching the fundamentals to be sure that everyone is comfortable come game time.

Her Campus: Do you have any advice for people who want to get into water polo?

Catherine: Do not get frustrated if things do not click right away. I couldn't catch the ball for the first three months that I played my freshman year of high school. Time and practice will make it easier.  


Thank you so much Catherine for answering all of my questions and teaching me about water polo!