Girls Water Polo: River Rats advance to Regionals after capturing District 4 title

By Margaret Baker / For WLAA

The Ann Arbor Huron River Rats are the 2021 District 4 Girls’ Water Polo champions!

The River Rats are headed to Regionals later this week after winning the District title with a pair of wins on Saturday. Huron blanked Chelsea 16-0 in the first game on Saturday morning and then knocked off rival Skyline 9-2 in the championship game.

Key players in the victory included Emma Kaipainen, who was District 4 Player of the Month by the Michigan Water Polo Association in April. The junior captain had 4 goals, 1 assist, 3 drawn kick-outs, and 4 steals.

Also coming up big in the big games was junior/captain Zannah Baker (3 goals, 3 drawn kick-outs and 5 steals); senior/captain Dre Hubers (4 assists); senior Clara Bowman (1 goal, 1 assist); junior Alli Sutton (1 goal, 1 assist); and junior Margo Leone (1 steal).

The Rats’ defense also was solid in both games. Junior goalie Lydia Hargetthad 11 blocks, including a 5-meter penalty shot block, with an overall astounding 85 percent blocking percentage.  She also had 1 assist and 2 steals.
Huron will play #4 West region seed Walled Lake Thursday night at Huron, and Skyline will face #3 seed, Grand Blanc at Seaholm.  The top four teams will then play their State Championship-determining seed games at Skyline on Saturday, May 22.
Shout-outs all around to the Rats coaches, Mary Chatigny, Betsy Clyde and Vlad Tolchinsky, and tireless Huron Athletic Director Tony Whiren, who has ensured that the season has gone on despite the pandemic.