Polo Star Commits to Michigan


Erika Riedel and Jessica Rosiak

Senior water polo star Erin Neustrom, who began playing the sport in 6th grade, recently committed to the University of Michigan, where she will compete at the NCAA division 1 level next year.

Neustrom “fully committed” to the sport in 8th grade. She said the transition to competitive, high school water polo went well, as she had picked up the sport quickly. “I [had] played soccer and basketball, but I really liked swimming so I thought, ‘Might as well try water polo,’” Neustrom said.

Over the summer, Neustrom toured the Michigan campus and fell in love with it.

“Michigan has a great water polo program and Erin is a great water polo player, so they recruited her because she will bring a bunch of aspects to the team that will help them,” said Neustrom’s teammate, senior Katie Klein. “She is fast and strong, so she will definitely fit in well there.”

Neustrom believes that she has grown as a player and a leader. Recently, she was awarded one of the captain positions for Campolindo’s varsity squad along with Klein and senior Sidney Vranesh. “I think being a captain on a team gains confidence in other aspects of life- it makes you not afraid to share your opinion and stand up for what is right,” Neustrom said. “[It’s also about] doing what is best for your team and not thinking just of yourself.”

Erin is a great leader and she really sets by example, and she is definitely a huge voice for the team,” said Klein.

“I think Erin is a great player and I also think she will bring a great attitude to the program and I think she will be a very important part of the team,” added Vranesh. “Erin works so hard every day at practice, and I play club and high school with her so I think all of the hard work she has put into the sport is totally paying off.”

“I was super excited for her,” said Vranesh of her friend’s commitment. “Erin and I have been friends since 2nd grade, best friends actually, and so I was so happy for her because I know something that she’s wanted since she’s started playing water polo was to go to college for it. I was just super happy for her.”

As an incoming college freshman, Neustrom will be able to learn from athletes who have been playing at a high level for many years. “I think working hard will take me far, pushing yourself as far as it can go and hoping it takes you as far as you need to be,” Neustrom said.

For now, Neustrom still has work to do for her Campolindo squad. “[I try to] be positive and motivating, try to keep everyones spirits up and not let the little things bother the team,” she said.

Even though Neustrom has 1 more season left with the team, the squad is already wondering who will fill Neustrom’s leadership role. “There is a lot of seniors on our team and most of us are going to college, so I think that is just something that the underclassmen are going to have to follow in Erin’s footsteps and the legacy she’s left,” said Vranesh.