Indiana Signs Five Student-Athletes to National Letter of Intent

Indiana University head coach Barry King
Indiana University head coach Barry King

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University head water polo coach Barry King announced the addition of five new players for the 2008-09 season.  The class includes Hanna Eimstad (Portland, Ore), Kristin Harmidy (Kirkland, Quebec, Canada), Sara Joseph (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), Jakie Köhli (Burnaby, B.C., Canada) and Allison Silver (Mountain View, Calif.).  All five will be freshmen entering the upcoming season and eligible to play right away.

"We are really excited about the addition of these student-athletes to the Indiana Water Polo program," King said.  "We have addressed many of the holes that were created by graduation.  This group continues our improvement in the speed component of our game and gives good size.  We believe that this class will mesh well with our current players and improve our depth.  These players will also be very solid student-athletes."

Eimstad attended Beaverton High School and was Metro League Player of the Year as a senior in leading her team to a third place finish in the state and an undefeated record in the Metro League.  She was named team MVP three out of four years for Coach Matt Bayha and received first team all-state accolades in her final season.  In addition, she was named second team all-state and all-league in her sophomore and junior years before jumping up to first team for both categories as a senior.  Eimstad was also a member of the Tualatin Hills Water Polo Club and United Water Polo team in Oregon and intends to major in Biology at Indiana.

IU head coach Barry King on Eimstad: "Hannah is a very smart athlete. Her intelligence will allow her a steep learning curve do to her reduced experience.  She is physical and fast and will provide our team with a lot flexibility on the perimeter."

Eimstad on choosing Indiana: "Indiana has everything I want in a school, and the campus is gorgeous.  It was the obvious choice for me and I'm excited to be a part of the school and the water polo team."

Harmidy played for The Dollard Water Polo Club in Dollard de Ormeaux, Quebec and head coach Jeff Lindell and attended St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, Quebec.  She trained with the senior national teams in 2007-08 after playing in the Canadian Select League from 2005-07.  In 2006, Harmidy was named to the Junior National top 20 roster, one year after leading the Youth National Team to a silver medal finish at the Youth Pan AM games in Mexico City.  In 2004, her Cadet team won the bronze medal at the Speedo Cadet National Championships.  The following year, she paced her Youth National team to a gold medal finish at the National Championships, followed by a silver medal finish in 2006, in which she was named an all-star for her efforts in the gold medal match.  She then jumped up a level that year to the Junior National team and led them to a gold medal.  Then in 2006-07, she won gold with both the Junior and Senior National teams at the National Championships.  Harmidy plans to major in Elementary Education and Teaching at Indiana.

IU head coach Barry King on Harmidy: "Kristin will provide immediate depth at the center position for us.  She has great size and ball handling skills and will integrate into our offense seamlessly.  She has played on very high levels and her experience will be very helpful with such a young team."

Harmidy on choosing Indiana: "I chose Indiana University because it was a great match for both my educational and athletic pursuits.  The campus and the water polo team have great energy and atmosphere and I'm looking forward to being part of the Hoosier family."

Joseph comes to Indiana from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., and Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where she played for head coach Kevin Ricks.  She joins the Hoosiers after setting the Trinity League record for most steals in a season.  She was also an All-Trinity League selection and led her team to the Trinity League Championship.  Joseph led her team to an appearance in the quarterfinals of the CIF Division I playoffs and her U-16 Junior Olympic team placed fifth while she was a member.  She was also senior president for the National Charity League Canyon Chapter and a two-year delegate in the model United Nations at Santa Margarita and is undecided on a major at Indiana.

IU head coach Barry King on Joseph: "Sara is a diamond in the rough and will really blossom in her collegiate career.  She has come a very long way athletically in very short time.  She comes from one of the most successful high school programs in California and has done nothing but get better.  I have a lot respect for her high school coach, Kevin Ricks, and believe that he has prepared Sara well for her jump to the college game."

Joseph on choosing Indiana: "I really liked everything that Indiana had to offer, both academically and athletically.  I made sure not to limit myself to schools around home but that were still very strong in both categories and IU fit that bill."

Köhli, a native of Burnaby, B.C., played high school water polo at Moscrop Secondary where she led the team to a second place finish in the Provincial Championships in 2006 and a third place finish in 2007.  This past season at the 2008 18 and Under National Championships, she was an all-star selection after leading her team to its third straight title in the division.  In 2005, she guided her squad to a first place finish in the 16 and Under National Championships to begin the string of four consecutive titles.

IU head coach Barry King on Köhli: "Jackie will provide a real backbone to our team on the defensive end.  She is a true lockdown type of defender. Her international experience will be invaluable to our team.  She is a very fluid player that will make us a very fast group."

Köhli on choosing Indiana: "I chose Indiana University because it has a highly recommended academic program, and I believe that the water polo team is well-rounded and that I'll learn a lot from the other players."

Silver is a native of Mountain View, Calif., and played at Saint Francis High School for Brenden Reutebuch where she lead the team in steals and assists during her senior campaign.  She received her team's Senior Award and was named first team all-league and second team Central Coast Section during her senior season, as well as being named to the CCS Senior All-Star team and earning San Jose Mercury News Honorable Mention.  During her junior season Silver paced her squad to a bronze medal at the Stanford A Team Junior Olympics.  Her teams have finished second in the West Catholic Athletic League and Central Coast Section each of the past two seasons.  She was also a three-time letterwinner in swimming and was named a swimming scholar-athlete each of her last two seasons and brought home water polo scholar-athlete accolades as well following her senior year.  Silver plans to major in nursing upon enrollment at Indiana in the fall.

IU head coach Barry King on Silver: "Allison has benefitted from some of the best coaching there is. Both her high school and club experiences have been top notch.  She is very intelligent and has the ability to fill a variety of roles.  She will provide us with a very sound defensive base. She will need to be more aggressive on the offensive end, but that will come in time."

Silver on choosing Indiana: "I chose Indiana because I fell in love with the athletic facilities and the student spirit and love for the school.  The water polo team chemistry made me want to be a part of the team and Indiana's athletic program.  Indiana University prospers in their academics and will provide me with a strong education for my future.  It is a beautiful campus with the right amount of diversity and opportunities for everyone."

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