On Monday, April 25, 2022, Pennridge senior Lea Preston was recognized for committing to continue her water polo career at Iona College.
Lea Preston – Iona College (Water Polo)
Reasons for choosing Iona: “I love the location, and Iona has a strong business program.
What was the progression that led you to competing in water polo at the collegiate level? “I started water polo in seventh grade, and I didn’t like it at first. My mom thankfully convinced me to keep playing, and my sophomore year my coach said, ‘You know you really could play in college. I think you should look into it,’ so I started looking my junior year. I had a few schools – they’re all coincidentally in the New York area, and I went to Iona after a long day of visiting colleges in New York, and I loved it. I could definitely see myself there.”
Coach Jacob Grant says: “Lea Preston is heading to Iona College to play Division 1 water polo. She was an excellent athlete for me over the last four years. She started out freshman year, and about halfway through the season, there was a game where everything just really clicked. I remember it vividly because she scored probably six or seven goals, just took over and won that game for us. From then on, I knew had something special with her. I watched her continue to develop over the next couple of years in water polo. She was the leader of our team. She played the hole set position, which is the center position. She was the one scoring most of our goals, she was the one in there getting the biggest battle. At the end of her freshman year, she was named Rookie of the Year for the State of Pennsylvania. Her sophomore season she continued to develop as a player and athlete in the water, she continued to improve at the hole set position, which is the most physical position in the pool. She took to it so well, and she continued to fight for every point, every victory that our team had.
“Coming into her junior year, she had a goal of making it on an all-state team, so she worked throughout the season to do that, and at the end of the season, she was named to the all-state team and was third team all-state. Coming back for her senior season, she was a captain for me, and she ended up being the leading goal scorer on our team. There were multiple games where teams had to double and triple team her in order to shut her down, and even then, she still continued to shine. For her efforts, she was named to the first team all-state, so she was one of the 10 best players in the state voted on by the water polo coaches association, which is a great honor. She’s the first girl in Pennridge water polo history to be named to the first team all-state. I’m super excited to watch Lea got on to Iona. I know she’s going to do great things there, I know she’ll have a great four-year college career, and she’s going to be a great addition to that team.”
Favorite food: Ice cream
Favorite TV show: New Girl
Favorite music: Indie Pop
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