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Water polo preview: Rams jump into conference play this weekend

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March 16, 2011

By Brian O’Neill
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – This weekend the Rams head to the annual Loyola Marymount Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif., to compete in four games including three against Western Water Polo Association opponents. The Rams’ competition for the weekend includes Sonoma State, No. 6 Loyola Marymount, Cal State San Bernardino, and finally Whittier.

So far during the 2011 campaign the Rams have had just one conference game and it was their first competition of the year. They dropped the game to No. 6 LMU back in January, but the team has a lot more confidence later in the season.

“We will approach this tournament just like every other tournament,” said coach Mike Moody. “But we do have a certain game plan that we have been working on for about a month now.”

Moody looks at this game as a great opportunity for his team, which has been playing very well lately, and is hopeful for more great play this week as his team prepares for conference play in the next three tournaments.

“It’s that time of the year again,” said Moody. “Conference seeding is developing and this could be huge for us.”

In regard to his team facing another top-10 opponent, its seventh of the year, Moody is very optimistic and feels good about his chances despite losing to LMU once already. He was able to look back at that game and figure out what needs to be done differently this time.

“It’s a much better situation this time against LMU,” said Moody. “Team defense needs to be there, in all games really, and we need to be playing together.”

Moody said that some of the keys to his team having success this weekend would be ball control, forcing turnovers, and really pushing their tempo. This past week, the Rams earned three votes for the national rankings, their most votes ever, which put them just two votes behind Iona University for the No. 20 spot in the polls.



The Rams start the weekend off on Friday at 10 a.m. MT against Sonoma State, followed by No. 6 Loyola Marymount at 1:45 p.m. MT. On Saturday they take on Cal State San Bernardino at 10 a.m. MT, then Whittier at 1:45 p.m. MT.

Player Spotlights:
Kallie Berry:
Berry has played in every game and is a well-rounded athlete for the team… Ranks second on the team in multiple categories including goals (16), assists (8), steals (15), and ejections drawn (15)… Was also selected as one of the team captains for 2011.

Ali Pavlik:
Pavlik has played in every game during the 2011 season… Leads the team in three categories: goals (22), assists (14), and field blocks (7)… While recoding seven field blocks she has also limited herself to just eight ejections.

“I think these two will really rise to the occasion in this type of tournament because it is conference play,” Moody said. “And both of these ladies really are a package deal. I could talk about them individually but I think they play amazing together. They are both physical players and move around very well.”


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