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Water polo preview: Rams aim to build off success

Kecly Barott and the Rams will take part in the Roadrunner Invitational III this weekend, in Bakersfield, Calif.

Kecly Barott and the Rams will take part in the Roadrunner Invitational III this weekend, in Bakersfield, Calif.

March 30, 2012

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Roadrunner Invitational III
Bakersfield, Calif. (Hillman Aquatics Complex)

Saturday, March 31
LMU vs. Santa Clara, 9:30 a.m. MT
Cal State San Bernardino vs. Hartwick, 10:45 a.m.
Bakersfield vs. CSU, 12 p.m.
LMU vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 3 p.m.
Hartwick vs. CSU, 4:15 p.m.
Bakersfield vs. Santa Clara, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 1
CSU vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 9:30 a.m.
Bakersfield vs. LMU, 10:45 a.m.
Santa Clara vs. Hartwick, 12 p.m.
LMU vs. CSU, 2:30 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 3:45 p.m.
Bakersfield vs. Hartwick, 5 p.m.

Weekend rewind
The Rams look to build off their biggest weekend of the season, winning three of four contests and finishing third out of eight in the Loyola Marymount Invitational (March 16-17). CSU began the tournament with a 9-8 win over Pacific, its first-ever over the Tigers in four tries. The Rams scored twice in the final 80 seconds to tie the game and take the lead. It was the first time CSU won after trailing entering the final period (previously 0-10).

After falling to host LMU (16-6), the sixth-best team in the country, CSU rebounded the following day with a pair of five-point wins, against Cal state San Bernardino (12-7) and Pomona-Pitzer (11-6).

On the weekend, seniors Kallie Berry and Amber Bryan, and junior Caroline Young, combined for 25 goals in the four games, while goalie Melissa Fisher played all four contests, tallying 25 saves.

“Our offense started clicking, and our defense played really well,” coach Mike Moody after the pair of wins on Saturday. “I’m just really pleased with how things went.”

Player of the Week
In result to the three wins, senior defender Kallie Berry was named the KAP7 WWPA Co-Player of the Week on March 20. Berry scored 10 goals in four games at the Loyola Marymount Invitational, including the game-winning score with 31 ticks remaining against Pacific. On the weekend, the team captain also recorded nine assists, eight steals and six ejections drawn.

About Bakersfield
The Roadrunners enter the weekend with a record of 18-11, including wins in seven of their last nine games, and a 4-0 record at the LMU Invitational March 16-17. Head Coach Jason Gall, in his fifth season at Bakersfield, has seven juniors and two seniors on his roster, including junior Jessica Browning, who ranks third in the country with 60 goals. Browning also ranks fourth in assists, with 32. Juniors Shannon McKenzie (10th in NCAA with 40 goals, first with 51 assists) and Sam Shead (12th with 37 goals, third with 32 assists, second with 49 steals), and freshman Janelle Shelby (eighth with 44 goals, eighth with 40 steals) also lead the Roadrunners.

About Hartwick
Hartwick, the alma mater of CSU Head Coach Chris Woodard, is 19-7 and ranked 19th in the latest top-20 poll. The Hawks have won three consecutive games, and are 18-7 away from home, including a pair of wins against ranked teams. Alan Huckins is in his ninth year at Hartwick. Nine different Hawks have scored 20 or more goals this season, including senior Lisa Bass, who leads the team in scoring. Freshman Jemma Dendy Young leads the squad with 48 steals, while junior Sasha Freeborn has 70 total points (37 goals and 33 assists).

About Cal State San Bernardino
The Coyotes have dropped seven straight contests—including a 13-7 defeat to CSU on March 17—and are 4-21 on the year. Misty Vu, however, is the nation’s top scorer, with 77 goals. The junior also has 41 steals. Senior Jasmine Duran ranks eighth in the NCAA in assists (26) and sixth in steals (41). Sarah Reneker, a former All-American at Cal State San Bernardino, is in her third year at the helm of the Coyotes.

About Loyola Marymount
LMU enters the weekend as the seventh-best team in the country, and holds a record of 11-8. The Lions had won five straight games—including a 16-6 win over CSU on March 16—before a setback at No. 3 USC last Sunday. LMU has five seniors on its team, including its goalkeeper, Elise Ponce. No stats were provided.

Win X 3
With a win against Bakersfield on Saturday afternoon, the Rams will have won three straight games, tied for the third-longest streak in program history. CSU has currently won back-to-back contests, the 10th time the Rams have accomplished the feat in their eight-year history. They have never won more than three consecutive games.

Scheduling tough opponents
Coach Mike Moody is known to piece together tough schedules, noting that more than half of last year’s schedule was against teams ranked at some point in the Women’s Varsity National Top 20 Poll. This season is no different, as the Rams will clash with nine teams currently ranked in the top-20 poll, including four teams twice. In total, 13 of CSU’s 26 Division-I regular-games are against teams currently ranked.

Proof of CSU’s tough competition is through its strength of schedule, which ranks ninth in the most recent update. Of the team’s ahead of CSU, all eight are ranked.

Additionally, CSU’s RPI is at No. 30, and its conference RPI is third of the six water polo conferences.




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