Water polo narrowly misses weekend sweep

    The women’s water polo team completed its Northern California swing by facing conference foes UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, defeating the Banana Slugs 13-9 on April 6, then losing on Sunday to the Aggies 7-4.

    The Tritons came out fast and furious against UC Santa Cruz. The team cruised to an 11-3 edge after three periods. This lead allowed the Triton starters some needed rest for their next match. Even with a small comeback by Santa Cruz in the last period, UCSD held onto its lead and won 13-9.

    To finish out the weekend, the team faced rival UC Davis for the second consecutive week, this time battling the Aggies on their home turf. This advantage for the UC Davis proved pivotal, as the Aggies defeated the Tritons 7-4.

    “”They got the necessary bounces to win,”” Sanders said. “”We played a solid game and I feel we’re the better team, but home field plays a role and it showed.””

    “”It was a tough loss to take,”” added junior Danielle Boyle. “”But it was a learning experience to grow on.””

    The team will not have much time to think about this past weekend as they head to Long Beach this weekend for the Long Beach State University Invitational. The teams competing in this tournament include San Diego State, UC Irvine, Arizona State and host Long Beach State.

    Also in the mix is current No. 1-ranked University of Southern California, which recently knocked off former No. 1 Stanford University. Provided that the Tritons win their opening round matches, a date with the Trojans is set.

    “”USC is an enormous challenge,”” Boyle said. “”Their level of play is so high.””

    UCSD also hopes to have another opportunity to play Long Beach State. After a wild 10-9 triple-overtime loss against the 49ers earlier this year at Canyonview Pool, the team would like some revenge.

    “”I would love to play them again,”” Courtney Hemmerly said. “”That last game [against Long Beach State] was so heartbreaking. It would be great to get another shot at them.””

    As the season winds to a close, the Tritons feel confident in their ability to claim the Women’s Water Polo Association Championship and a bid to the Final Four.

    “”We’ve proven to be a team that can contend with the best teams in the nation,”” Hemmerly said. “”No one should take us lightly.””

    Boyle agreed, adding, “”We’re ready both physically and mentally.””

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