Spotlight on UC Davis Women's Club Water Polo: Kelley Cartwright

This past week, I finished my third season with Davis’ Women’s Club Water Polo Team. As with any end of a season, the last game brought up feelings of pride and accomplishment as well as reinforced my love for my team and the game. My teammate and friend, Kelly Cartwright, had similar feelings after our last game. Check out her interview to get a different perspective on what it means to be a club athlete. 

1. What made you join UC Davis Women’s Club Water Polo?

I have played water polo since I was in 7th grade, and I wanted to continue playing in college. UCDWCWP is a fun and easy way to continue playing such a wonderful sport at a competitive level, while still being able to balance school. 

2. What was it like being league champions and knowing you're going to Nationals for the second year in a row?

When the game ended, I was filled with so many different emotions. I love my team so much, and I definitely didn't want that to be our last game together. 

3. How do you get through the most difficult practices? 

Smiles and laughter. There is nothing better than feeling like my legs are about to fall off and still being able to laugh and joke around with my teammates. Not only do we work hard but we support each other throughout, and I think those bonds are crucial to the success of a team. 

4. How do you prepare for games?

Preparing for games is such a mental challenge for me. After playing in so many games I have come to realize that just trying to stay calm and hype up with other teammates is the best way to not only forget about pregame nerves but also get excited. 

5. What's it like playing on the team and what's your favorite part?

My favorite part of playing on the team is definitely being able to connect with the other girls so well. There is something special about overcoming certain challenges in the water that significantly influences the relationships out of the water. 

6. As a goalie, how do you think you view the game differently from field players? 

As a goalie, I think I view the game from a broader level, due to the perspective. I can see the whole playing field, whereas some field players are limited to one side or have restricted views. Especially because the game is always just right in front of me, I think goalies, in general, are viewing the game in regard to what both sides of the pool are doing to attain what outcome. 

7. Have you learned anything from being on the team? 

I have definitely learned about the significance of teamwork and trusting other players. I think a lot of times players can get trapped in their own heads about their individual play, or their matchup, instead of the overall dependency of everyone on each other.

8. If you could be any animal what would it be?

I would definitely be a seahorse. I got one tattooed on my wrist so I think I'm almost there.