Water polo preview: Rams conclude regular season at Santa Clara Invitational

The Rams look for a solid showing in Santa Clara before competing in the WWPA conference tournament, April 27-29.

The Rams look for a solid showing in Santa Clara before competing in the WWPA conference tournament, April 27-29.

April 12, 2012

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The Rams will wrap up their regular season with five games in three days, beginning with a road contest against Cal State Monterey Bay, Friday at 7 p.m. MT. CSU will continue action by competing in the Santa Clara Invitational, April 14-15, facing Santa Clara, Sonoma State, No. 8 San Jose State and Cal State East Bay.

Full schedule:
Saturday April 14
San Jose State vs. Bakersfield, 9 a.m. MT
Cal State East Bay vs. UC San Diego, 10:15 a.m.
Santa Clara vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 11:30 a.m.
San Jose State vs. Sonoma State, 12:45 p.m.
Cal State East Bay vs. Cal State Monterey Bay, 2 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. Colorado State, 3:15 p.m.
Bakersfield vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 4:30 p.m.
UC San Diego vs. Cal State Monterey Bay, 5:45 p.m.
Colorado State vs. Sonoma State, 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 15
UC San Diego vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 8:30 a.m.
Sonoma State vs. Bakersfield, 9:45 a.m.
Colorado State vs. San Jose State, 11 a.m.
Santa Clara vs. Cal State East Bay, 12:15 p.m.
Sonoma State vs. Cal State San Bernardino, 1:30 p.m.
UC San Diego vs. Bakersfield, 2:45 p.m.
Colorado State vs. Cal State East Bay, 4 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m.

Weekend rewind
Looking to build off their biggest weekend of the season—when the team won three of four contests in the Loyola Marymount Invitational (March 16-17), CSU played tough in the Bakersfield Tournament, but only had one win to show for it. The Rams beat Cal State San Bernardino, 15-14, on April 1. The team’s three losses were each by three goals or fewer, and two came against nationally ranked competition: 10-9 loss at Bakersfield, 12-9 loss to No. 19 Hartwick and 12-10 loss to No. 7 LMU.

Despite the fact that things didn’t go the way the Rams would have liked to in terms of results, coach Mike Moody was encouraged by what he saw from his team: “It was a very special day for us. We played outstanding, and I’m so proud of our girls. They came together and they executed from start to finish.”

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.

Searching for a milestone win
A victory against San Jose State would be CSU’s first in five tries, but doing so would also reach a new milestone for the Rams, as it would mean CSU would have defeated its second-ever ranked opponent. The Rams’ lone win over a ranked team came on April 11, 2010. Ironically, it came at Santa Clara’s Bronco Invitational. The win came in a neutral pool against UC San Diego, which was ranked 17th at the time.

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.

Out of the gate
CSU had one of the toughest starts to a season, facing five ranked opponents in the opening week. The Rams took on No. 3 UCLA, No. 10 Indiana and No. 12 Michigan (twice) in the opening weekend, before hosting No. 14 UC San Diego four days later. Through the second weekend of March, 12 of CSU’s first 13 games were against teams who at some point were ranked or receiving votes in the Varsity National Top 20 poll.

SOS
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.

Best in the nation
Several individual Rams are among the top players in the nation in multiple statistical categories, including Kallie Berry, who ranks third in the nation in steals per game. For a complete list of individuals ranked in the top-25 of statistical categories, view the chart on page 5 of the full release.

High-scoring action
On multiple occasions, CSU has competed in an offensive barnburner. Case in point: Four games this season have reached CSU’s top-10 for single-game total points, including the highest-scoring game in program history.
1st       30 goals at Michigan (Jan. 21)                  L, 17-13
T-2nd   29 vs. Cal State San Bernardino (April 1)    W, 15-14
T-9th    25 vs. Indiana (March 3)                          L, 16-9
T-9th    25 vs. UC San Diego (Jan. 26)                  L, 14-11

Up next
This weekend concludes the Rams’ regular season. The team will have two weeks of rest and preparation before heading to San Diego, Calif., for the WWPA conference tournament, which will take place April 27-29.


 

 

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