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Water polo preview: Rams head back to California for five-game swing

March 11, 2010

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By Zach Balside
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Rams will travel to California to play five games this weekend. CSU is playing the Long Beach State 49ers on Saturday, and then heads to Redlands, Calif. to participate in the Redlands Mini-Tournament.

The matchup against Long Beach State on Saturday is the only game CSU (4-9, 1-2 Western Water Polo Association) plays this year that is not associated with a tournament. The 49ers are receiving votes in the most recent national poll, and will prove to be a tough opponent for the Rams.

"We have to have a very disciplined and controlled offense," coach Mike Moody said. "We've got to do a better job controlling the ball on the offensive side. Our defense has to be tough and dictate to the offense."

The Redlands tournament kicks off for the Rams with games against No. 10 Cal State Northridge and Claremont Mudd-Scripps on Sunday. CSU last played Cal State Northridge in 2007, losing 10-2. The Rams faced Claremont Mudd-Sripps most recently in 2008, pulling out a 9-7 victory that included a hat trick by Ali Pavlik and two more goals from Orsi Nadasdy.

"We feel like the Mudd-Scripps game is a game we have to win," Moody said.

On Monday, CSU will play Cal Baptist and Marist to finish the tournament. Pavlik led the Rams to an 8-2 victory over a Cal Baptist team that is currently receiving votes in the national poll. The last time CSU played Marist was in 2008 when the Red Foxes beat the Rams 11-7.

"Against Cal Baptist, the confidence is definitely there," Moody said. "And even against Marist, we feel like it's a game that we should be able to control from start to finish."

CSU's game against Long Beach State on Saturday is slated to start at 1 p.m. MT.

Spotlight On: Melissa Fisher:
Freshman goalie Melissa Fisher has carried the load in the cage for the Rams this season. She has started 12 of the team's 13 games, including 11 straight. "Fish" has definitely impressed Moody this early in her development.

"She's just an outstanding athlete," Moody said. "She works hard. To be a goalie at this level, you have to be athletic and strong. She's very aggressive in the weight room and she's just a very solid player."

Moody also noted that her skill set is constantly improving.

"Every quarter of every game she gets better," Moody said. "Yeah, she's a freshman, but her learning curve is amazing. She's just blowing it out of the water. The more experience she gets against top-10 schools , the better. She's definitely doing well."

Fisher has quickly gained the trust of her teammates, which is a crucial part to succeeding at this level.

"She is a worker and she's a student of her position," Moody said. "She does a great job of taking care of her role. That's what you want in a future leader on this team. Her commitment to the program and the other girls is really coming together."

Moody is excited to have Fisher around for a few more years.

"She has great potential, she can go really far with this," Moody said.

Freshman Caroline Young is riding a five-game goal streak. She has 12 goals on the season, good for fourth on the team... Freshman goalie Melissa Fisher has now started 12 of the Rams 13 games this season, including 11 in a row... Fisher has 106 saves on the season, which is already the sixth highest single-season total in school history... Orsi Nadasdy has 10 goals this season, which has moved her into a tie with Shannon Kohl for sixth on the all-time school scoring list (61)... Cal Baptist and Long Beach State are both receiving votes in the most recent national poll.



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