ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan water polo head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi announced Ava Morrant, Erin Neustrom and Maddy Steere were named captains for the upcoming 2022 campaign.
“We are very proud of Team 22’s captain selection,” said Leonardi. “All three possess a strong character and an unwavering commitment to their teammates and this program. They show tremendous pride in their dedication in the classroom and towards the community. They have and will continue to do a tremendous job in leading Team 22 throughout the year.”
Morrant, a senior from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, has been a mainstay in the Wolverines’ lineup during her first three seasons in the maize and blue. The attacker had a career season as a junior, scoring a personal-best 23 goals with a career-high .489 shot percentage. She also won 28 sprints and had eight multi-goal games on the campaign. Morrant also earned both Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors.
“I am extremely honored to have been named captain by my teammates,” said Morrant. “I am among great company with my fellow captains Erin and Maddy. I feel very privileged to be one of many leaders on a team full of exceptional young women who I value in and out of the water. Moving forward, I hope to represent and vouch for Michigan women’s water polo. I am looking forward to our upcoming season and can’t wait to crush it alongside my teammates.”
Senior Neustrom, a Moraga, Calif., native has played in every game over the course of her three-year career. She was an Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America honorable mention as a junior and also was tabbed National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-Tournament second team and All-Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) first team honoree. Neustrom scored 27 goals and had four assists as a junior and was second on the team with 29 drawn exclusions.
“Being chosen to be a captain by my teammates is by far my greatest achievement at Michigan thus far,” said Neustrom. “I’ve always looked up to the captains that we have had in the past and still look to them for advice to this day. I have big shoes to fill, but I am excited to lead our team with Ava and Maddy by my side!”
Steere is returning for a final year of competition after training with the Australian Olympic team in 2020 and 2021. She has scored 180 goals in the first three years of her career as a Wolverine, earning ACWPC All-American status in each season in the maize and blue. Steere helped Michigan to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2019, a season in which she was also the CWPA Player of the Year. Additionally, the senior is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten and three-time ACWPC All-Academic team member.
“I am honored to have been voted as a captain by Team 22,” said Steere. “It means a lot to me that the girls trust me as a leader, and I hope we can achieve something great together this season. The University of Michigan and this team have been such an important part of my life over the last few years and I am so grateful for the leaders who helped me along the way. I hope I can give back to the program as it has given to me.”