Water Polo Goes 4-0 in Santa Clara

    The four wins secured the second seed for the Tritons, who sit two games behind first place Loyola Marymount and four games in front of third place CSU East Bay.

             The tournament, hosted by Santa Clara University, pitted nine Western Water Polo Association squads against each other, serving as a proving ground for the conference tournament, to take place in just two weeks.
             On Friday, in their opening match, the Tritons took on 1711 Cal State East Bay. The game remained close in the first two periods, as the Pioneers kept within one goal of the Tritons. But UCSD pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring CSU East Bay 3-0, riding their momentum to take a comfortable 93 win against the Pioneers, who sit right behind the Tritons in the conference standings.
             Against the Pioneers, the scoring was spread across the roster. Sophomore utilities Leah Gonzales and Sarah Lizotte each netted two goals apiece. The Tritons also saw contributions from consistent goal scorers senior attacker Jessica Tran and senior center Kirsten Bates.

    “I thought that both Kirsten Bates and [senior driver] Katherine Biehle had a fantastic tournament,” UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said in an email interview. “[Biehle’s] counter attack skills have helped the team all year and have particularly helped us as of late.”

    In their second game of the day, the Tritons fought for a closer 128 win against CSU Monterey Bay, who is just 67 in conference.

             Bates led the Tritons in the attack, tallying four goals, while Lizotte, Biehle and center Melissa Bartow each tacked on two goals apiece.
             On Sunday, April 15, the Tritons faced bottom of the conference CSU San Bernardino, who have lost all 14 of their WWPA matches thus far. UCSD strolled to a 265 win against the Coyotes, before taking down Division I CSU Bakersfield 127.

    The only other team to come out of the tournament unscathed was Division-I San Jose State.

    The Tritons will have this week to prepare for a non-conference bout against San Diego State, this Friday, April 20, before they head into the postseason.

    UCSD will look to replicate its results from last season, where the second-seeded Tritons upset first seed Loyola-Marymount 1113 in the conference tournament, to be held at Canyonview Pool.

    “We have really been focusing on the counter attack and our power play defense,” Kreutzkamp said. “I thought that in both of those areas we are showing huge improvements. Our play is the best; it’s been all season and hopefully we are peaking at the right time.”

     

     

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