Conference Control

    Conference Control

    UCSD starts strong in opening league play, going 3–0 against first Western Water Polo Association opponents of the season. 

    KS2
    Photo by Kyle Szeto/Guardian File

    The No. 13 nationally ranked UCSD women’s water polo team began Western Water Polo Association play last weekend with a 3–0 sweep of conference opponents to put the Tritons in first place. The team improved to 22–10 overall and currently leads the WWPA by two games, with Cal State East Bay in second.

    “We needed to win every game in order to seal first place,” senior utility Sarah Lizotte told the Guardian. “We knew that going into the weekend, and we dominated.”

    The Tritons started strong in Saturday’s games against Sonoma State and Cal State Monterey Bay, scoring 30 goals in the two matches. Junior attacker Jolene Guiliana led the offensive effort by tallying a pair of hat tricks. Lizotte and sophomore attacker Julia Kirkland followed closely with five and four goals respectively.

    Despite a slow first quarter by the Triton offense, the squad bested Sonoma State 16–6 for its first conference win of the year. In the nightcap against Monterey Bay, UCSD pulled ahead early and maintained the lead through all four quarters for a 15–6 win.

    UCSD dominated rival Cal State East Bay the following day, holding the Pioneers to only three goals to the Tritons’ 10. Lizotte and Guiliana both found the back of the net four times in the win while sophomore goalie Courtney Miller made 10 saves.

    “As far as East Bay goes, it’s well known we have a heated rivalry,” Lizotte said. “It was good to get such a decisive win.”

    The weekend concluded with a 13–11 win over University of the Pacific in Sunday’s nightcap. Lizotte scored another four goals in the win while Miller saved another 10, giving the offense room to work in the weekend’s closest game.

    The Tritons will see WWPA in action once again on Friday, April 11 at 6 p.m. in a single game against Cal State San Bernardino played on home turf at the Canyonview Pool. With only a few weeks of play left, UCSD has its sights on the WWPA tournament and nationals.

    “We have another conference game coming up this weekend and the Harbor Cup the next,” Lizotte said. “Wins will get us ready for the championship and we’ll go into nationals with confidence.”

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