Despite the recent soar in her personal statistics and accolades, Cara Reitz, Michigan water polo team captain, has continued to maintain an altruistic and level-headed character, claiming that her sole concern is the success of her team.

“One of my personal goals as a captain is to remind my team every day that we are capable of being in the championship game”, Reitz said. “Anything beyond that, like personal accolades, are bonuses at that point.”

Although she has downplayed her scorching start to the season, it can’t go unnoticed. After four games, the Miami, Fla. native is tied for first on the team with nine points. After ranking third amongst all freshman in goals and points, the senior has helped her team win in other ways the past two years. Although it’s early, Reitz has blossomed into an elite scorer for the eighth-ranked Wolverines (2-2).

Michigan coach Matt Anderson reinforced her leadership qualities, emphasizing that her aggressiveness on the offensive end is not natural for her.

“As a senior, she has realized that she is going to need to take on more of a role (offensively) in order for the team to be successful,” Anderson said.

Along with becoming more of a scorer, Reitz feels that she has improved vastly in other facets of her game. She highlights her ability to help her teammates as a sign of maturation, stating that helping the team is “not always about shooting more.”

“It’s about setting picks, making the right passes, recognizing when someone is open, and setting up my teammates,” Reitz said. “I do a little bit of everything.”

As much as she’s helped her team in the pool, Anderson is quick to heap appraisal on his two-year captain’s ability to positively impact the team outside the pool. He states that she demands, but not in a “demanding way,” that her fellow teammates demonstrate high character and to represent the Wolverines well.

Reitz credits the fun and winning culture of the water polo team to the upperclassmen who led the team when she was a freshman.

“They did a really good job – the upper-classman – of setting the pace, and setting the rules of how our team wanted to act and be run in order to be a championship team,” Reitz said. “So it all started then, and it was the beginning of implementing these ideas of what it takes to be a really good ranked team.”

But, when the topic shifts to her personal accomplishments, her humility and modesty become apparent. When asked what it meant to her to be named Player of the Week by the Collegiate Water Polo Association, Reitz seemed to shy away from the question.

“I think it’s pretty cool. I was also proud of Morgan (Turner) for being named Defensive Player of the Week,” Reitz said. “It’s nice to be recognized for doing positive things. I hope it reflects that we played well as a team over the weekend.”

Along with performing her captain duties, Reitz is majoring in Evolutionary Anthropology and is planning to attend medical school. She stated that she has an interest in becoming a surgeon, but is open to exploring other options.

One thing is for sure though: wherever she goes and whatever she does, her leadership qualities will not disappoint.

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