BRIDGEPORT Pa. — Five-time defending Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Champion the University of Michigan will return a pair of All-America selections for the 2022 season as 2021 league Most Valuable Player Maddie O’Reilly (Gr., Villanova, Pa./Episcopal Academy) and fellow Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America pick Sofie Pontré (Gr., Perth, Western Australia/Santa Maria College) will compete while enrolled in graduate school.
Due to COVID-19 abbreviating the 2020 season, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) awarded an extra year of eligibility to athletes competing during the year. In 2021, Michigan goalie Heidi Ritner (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) used the extra season to return for a graduate year capped off by claiming her second career honorable mention All-America award.
O’Reilly, who earned her first ACWPC All-America honor with a Second Team selection in 2021, started all 26 games for the Wolverines and turned in team highs in goals scored (47), assists (33) and points (80) while adding 21 steals and 11 field blocks the year. The 2021 CWPA Most Valuable Player and an All-Conference First Team selection, she tallied 120 goals, 90 assists, 29 drawn exclusions, 57 steals and 22 field blocks in the span of 101 games during her four-year undergraduate tenure at Michigan.
A 2020 ACWPC All-America Second Team pick, Pontré will return to Ann Arbor for the 2021-22 academic year after posting 14 goals, 10 assists, five drawn exclusions 21 steals and six field blocks to claim All-CWPA First Team and ACWPC All-America Honorable Mention recognition. Over her four year span, she notched 67 goals, 47 assists, 57 drawn exclusions, 98 steals and 27 field blocks in 116 games for the Maize & Blue.