CSUN women’s water polo will not compete in spring 2021

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Daily Sundial file photo

The women’s water polo team will not play during the spring 2021 season due to players’ concerns about COVID-19 — a similar situation that also happened to the women’s basketball team.

Mano Baghjajian, Assistant Sports Editor

The CSUN women’s water polo team will not take part in the upcoming season as several players opt out due to COVID-19 concerns. Due to the opt-outs, the team does not have enough players to compete.

“As a team, we’ve come to the difficult decision that we will not compete in the spring 2021 season,” head coach Matt Warshaw said via a press release. “This decision is made with the health and safety of our student-athletes is our number one priority. The heartbreak and disappointment we are feeling are not comparable to those who’ve lost loved ones during this global pandemic.”

In a joint statement, the water polo players expressed their disappointment with this turn of events. However, they recognized the importance of health and safety during this time and are willing to sacrifice the season in order to ensure the safety of others.

The team physician, Dr. Eric Sletten, shared the players’ sentiments. He added that it is in the athletes’ best interests to not compete this season due to the “unique stressors” of the pandemic and the “overwhelming reduction in the size of the team’s roster.”

The women’s water polo team was not the first team that was unable to compete this academic year. The women’s basketball team announced in November that they did not have the minimum number of required players due to opt-outs.

“While it is disappointing that the circumstances do not allow us to participate in the spring water polo season, the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” said Athletic Director Mike Izzi.

All players will still be eligible for NCAA support service granted to athletes and scholarships will all be honored through the 2020-21 school year.