Founded in 1993, the MIT women’s water polo is a club team competing in the North Atlantic Division of the Collegiate Water Polo Association. Our team includes both undergraduates and graduates who bring their skill and energy to the pool.
By Tina Kangas Van Dyk
It all started with a resident of Baker House, named Bobby Jones, who was locally famous for his saying "Girls are Icky." It was not that he did not like girls, but rather that he was, I think, a bit shy, and perhaps had been opposed to Baker House becoming co-ed. Consequently, some of his friends at Baker House thought it would be humorous to assemble an intramural water polo team consisting of all women (in swim suits, of course) and Bobby Jones. So Baker House fielded at team in 1977 called "Girls are Icky" with Bobby Jones as goalie and otherwise all women. I do not remember how we did on the intramural circuit, but I do remember clearly a game we played at Wellesley. It came about due to a Baker resident who had a cousin at Wellesley playing on their newly formed water polo team. She suggested a scrimmage and we said sure as long as we could play as a team. We went to Wellesley and played with all women in the pool and Bobby Jones. After the game, the Wellesley team encouraged us to have a bone fide club team the following year. At this point, we had a lot of enthusiasm for water polo, and I went to the athletic department with the proposal. It was approved and the next year women's water polo was an official club sport. That year, the team had the Baker House nucleus including Sue Hansen who took over as goalie, Carol Brown, an experienced water polo player, who had just transferred to MIT, and Sam Senne from the men's water polo team as coach. We did reasonably well in New England and were ranked in the top ten.
Interestingly, 1978, the first year of MIT’s intercollegiate women’s water polo was also the year that MIT guys were starting a football team, which is currently getting press coverage because of their undefeated regular season in 2014.