The CSU water polo program will begin its ninth season this weekend, facing four nationally ranked teams in the Michigan Kick-Off.
Jan. 17, 2013
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Kicking off the season
The water polo team—CSU’s youngest program—begins its ninth season this weekend, and it will start in a familiar place: Michigan. The Rams have competed in the premier Michigan Kick-Off tournament each season, and again, it will be one of the most challenging. CSU will face four teams in the two-day tourney, with all four ranked in the top 15 of this week’s CWPA Varsity Top 20 poll. What’s more, San Diego State, which is competing in the tournament but will not face CSU, is also ranked in the top 10.
“Year in and year out, this tournament is known nationwide as one of the premier tournaments in the country,” associate head coach Mike Moody said. “CSU has never shied away from top competition, and this is no different.”
Historically, the Rams have struggled against the elite competition, going just 2-26 in the tournament—last winning in 2006. What makes it even more challenging is that CSU is 0-32 against its four opponents this weekend.
“We’ve played this level of competition before, so we won’t be surprised by it,” Moody said. “Our goal is to play our game. I expect us to play really, really tough team defense and an up-tempo transition game. I really feel like our offense is going to take care of itself. Our main focus will be to play really tough defense and to limit the teams’ opportunities to score quickly on us. Our speed and endurance is a strength of ours, so we need to use it.”
Despite struggling in the tournament, CSU has had several near-upsets over the years, including coming within one goal of beating No. 13 Indiana in 2011.
Follow the action
The Michigan Kick-Off Tournament Central page will have updated scores and stats at the conclusion of each game throughout the weekend.
Searching for a milestone win
A victory against any of this weekend’s four opponents would turn some heads. It would also be CSU’s second-ever win over a ranked foe. The Rams’ lone victory over a ranked team came on April 11, 2010, in a neutral pool against then-No. 17 UC San Diego.
Fourth in the WWPA
For the second consecutive season, CSU has been picked by the WWPA coaches to finish fourth in the league. It ties the highest-ever preseason seed.
“We went into the WWPA Championships last year seeded No. 8, so to have us at No. 4, I’m a little bit surprised,” associate head coach Mike Moody said. “I know the talent that we have, and what we’re capable of doing, but for others to see that as well, that feels good.”
Finishing ahead of CSU in the preseason poll is Loyola Marymount (49 points), UC San Diego (43) and Santa Clara (36). Loyola Marymount and UC San Diego are currently ranked. The bottom half of the poll includes Cal State East Bay (24), Sonoma State (20), Cal State Monterey Bay (15) and Cal State San Bernardino (7).
Scheduling tough opponents
Coach Mike Moody is known to piece together tough schedules, noting that more than half of his team’s opponents over the past two seasons have been against teams ranked at some point in the Women’s Varsity Top 20 poll. This season is no different, as 11 of CSU’s 24 schedule games are against teams currently ranked. CSU’s tournament at Santa Clara (April 6-7) has not announced the field yet.
• The program received its first-ever national ranking, earning the No. 20 spot in the Women’s Varsity Top 20 poll on Jan. 25.
• CSU earned three All-WWPA honors, including Kallie Berry (third team), Caroline Young (honorable mention) and Kelcy Barott (freshman).
• Four players earned Academic recognition from the WWPA and ACWPC: Kallier Berry, Michelle Smith, Stephanie Weed and Caroline Young.
• As a team, CSU was one of 13 schools to have a cumulative grade-point average above 3.0.
• It marked the first season played in the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, CSU’s new home facility and state-of-the-art pool in Thornton, Colo.
• The Rams recorded two victories in the WWPA Championships, securing the No. 6 spot after entering seeded eighth.
04/27/2013The CSU water polo team played an exceptional first half against top-seeded UC San Deigo, but a second-half scoring drought gave the Tritons a 14-6 win Saturday in the semifinals. Read More [+]04/26/2013The CSU water polo team picked up a big win on Friday, defeating Sonoma State in the quarterfinals of the WWPA Championships, 9-8. The win guarantees CSU a top-four finish. Read More [+]04/25/2013The CSU water polo team enters this weekend's WWPA Championships in Santa Clara, Calif., as the No. 4 seed, tying its best-ever seed. The Rams will face Sonoma State on Friday in the quarterfinals. Read More [+]04/22/2013The CSU water polo team earned a program-record four postseason honors Monday, as three different Rams were recognized by the WWPA, including Ariel Arcidiacono as the Newcomer of the Year. Read More [+]04/15/2013Twenty-two former Colorado State water polo players rejoined the program on Saturday for CSU's first reunion game. In all, 40 of the program's 63 all-time players were in attendance. Read More [+]04/10/2013The CSU water polo team will host a reunion game on Saturday, bringing back 15-20 former players. The scrimmage will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the VMAC in Thornton. Admission is free. Read More [+]04/07/2013The CSU water polo team concluded its regular season on Sunday, falling to Santa Clara and No. 8 Hawai'i. The Rams will next compete at the WWPA Championships (April 26-28). Read More [+]04/06/2013After a loss to UC San Diego early in the day, the Rams came back for a close win against Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday afternoon in the first day of The Bronco. Read More [+]04/05/2013Colorado State (7-16, 2-3 WWPA) began its California weekend with a challenging day against WWPA conference foe Cal State East Bay, losing the pairing 13-8. Read More [+]04/04/2013The CSU water polo team will play in its final regular-season games this weekend. The Rams will play a WWPA contest at Cal State East Bay on Friday, followed by four games in The Bronco. Read More [+]03/25/2013Sunday was a challenge for the Colorado State water polo team. The Rams faced two top-20 teams, falling to No. 19 Hartwick, 18-5, and No. 2 Stanford, 16-6. Read More [+]03/23/2013Competing twice on Day 2 of the Arizona State Tournament, CSU earned a split, defeating La Verne, 13-9, after falling to No. 18 Michigan, 12-4, at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Read More [+]03/22/2013Playing in one of the most challenging tournaments in the country, Colorado State feels as if it let a win slip away on Friday, dropping two on the first day of action from the Mona Plummer Aquatic... Read More [+]03/20/2013After a 3-1 weekend in California, the Rams return to the pool for arguably their most challenging week of the season, facing four ranked teams in three days at the Arizona State Tournament. Read More [+]03/18/2013The CSU Rams defeated Whittier, 12-9, and La Verne, 12-4, on Sunday. The Rams now own a three-game winning streak, the team's best since March 2011. Read More [+]