Jan. 25, 2012
CSU water polo weekly release
*The Rams open their home schedule on Thursday, facing UC San Diego at 12:30 p.m. MT. The game will be CSU's inaugural at its new facility, the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center, located in Thornton, Colo. (5310 E. 136th Ave.).*
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
BRIDGEPORT, Pa.—Strong showings against some of the nation’s best teams this past weekend earned the Colorado State women’s water polo team its first-ever national ranking. The College Water Polo Association released its second poll of the season Wednesday, with the Rams earning the No. 20 slot in the Women’s Varsity National Top 20.
“We’re ecstatic,” coach Mike Moody said. “It’s a great accomplishment for our team and our program as a whole. A lot of hard work has gone into this accomplishment, going all the way back to when the program started eight years ago and the vision (former Head Coach) John Mattos laid for CSU water polo.
“A lot of girls have worked really, really hard to establish this program, and the girls and I are really excited to be recognized.”
CSU lost several key players off of its 2011 squad, but there was still plenty of anticipation heading into the 2012 campaign. In the preseason poll, CSU was the top team in the “receiving votes” category, earning five votes, the most ever received by the Rams.
“Being ranked in the top 20 is a really big accomplishment for us,” said senior captain Kallie Berry. “Since I got here four years ago we’ve always had it as a goal to be ranked, but we know that being ranked is determined by votes, which we can’t control. So this year we changed our goal to act like a ranked team. I think that’s given us a more positive outlook, and even though we had a tough first weekend, we obviously did something right. We’re all excited about it.”
CSU earned six points in this week’s poll and was the only team to move into the top-20 ranking.
Despite falling in each of the four contests last weekend in the Michigan Kick-Off, CSU proved it can compete with the nation’s best, falling by five goals or fewer in three of the games, while holding its opponents to 10 or fewer goals in each of those three contests.
While the Rams will celebrate the accomplishment today, they know they need to remain focused. CSU plays No. 14 UC San Diego Thursday in its home opener (12:30 p.m. MT at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, Colo.), one of 15 ranked opponents scheduled for the 2012 season.
“Now the target is on our backs,” Moody said. “We have to keep moving forward and getting better. We’ll continue to take things one game and one day at a time in order to do that.”
For the complete poll, visit here.