Friday, Jul. 06, 2012
Hurley will play water polo for Rams
By David Witte / firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS BANOS Who needs a scholarship, anyway? Not 2012 Los Banos High graduate Morgan Hurley, if that's what it takes to be a Ram.
Hurley is headed to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. this fall to play water polo. A number of factors conspired to make CSU her top choice.
"It was a little bit of everything. I did have full-ride offers from a few division II schools," Hurley said. "I really wanted a bigger school with an engineering program that also offered water polo, and Colorado State offered me everything."
The big-school atmosphere was one of the keys for Hurley.
"I went on three official visits. They flew me out to New York, then to Colorado," she said. "I didn't make my decision then, but I knew I wanted the big-college atmosphere.
"I've lived in Los Banos my whole life, and this is four years of my life -- it's a chance for something new. It's an opportunity to go out for a new experience."
Hurley said she will play her freshman year as a preferred walk-on. A player with preferred walk-on status is player without a scholarship because one isn't available, but is treated like a scholarship player and is guaranteed a spot on the team.
"My sophomore, junior and senior year, I will be getting scholarship, but not my freshman year," Hurley said. "They only had two seniors graduate this year."
She expects to see plenty of playing time, though, as she'll be one of two left-handers on the team -- and she said she'll try to learn as much as possible from the other lefty before she graduates.
"I think my speed and knowledge of the game (will help)," Hurley said. "I'm not just a fast player, but more of a utility player. Anywhere they put me in, I want to get the job done."
Hurley helped the Tigers to a 17-8-1 record and a second-place finish in the Valley Foothill League, before an 8-6 loss to McClatchy booted the Tigers from the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Hurley also played basketball during the winter and swam for the Tigers in the fall, though knee surgery kept her out for a good chunk of the swim season.
"She's one of the hardest working people I've had. She has the desire to win. She's like an animal out there," Los Banos swim coach Drew Guintini said. "I've watched her swim so many races where she jumps in during a relay where we're behind, and she manages to find another gear and pulls out a win."
Hurley also swims for Guintini as a member of the Los Banos Tiger Sharks club swim team, and also plays for the Modesto-Stanislaus club water polo team.
"I do that in the morning, then go to the Tiger Sharks in afternoon," she said. "I keep busy."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at email@example.com