Dec. 5, 2011
Full 2012 schedule
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Coming off its best season in program history, the CSU water polo team is gearing up for the 2012 season with even more anticipation and excitement. In addition to a new facility—located in Thornton, Colo.—the Rams will compete in six regular-season tournaments in 2012, including hosting an invite in March.
“I’m really excited for the upcoming season,” Coach Mike Moody said. “I think we’re building a great program here at CSU and there’s a lot for fans to be excited about.”
The season commences Jan. 21-22 in the Michigan Kick-Off Tournament, one of the nation’s annual premier events.
“We always get excited for the Michigan tournament,” Moody said. “It’s been known as one of the toughest tourneys in the country. We don’t know who will be there yet, but last year we played four top-20 teams in that tournament, including two in the top 10.”
Just four days later, fans will get their first look at the 2012 squad as CSU breaks in the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center (VMAC)—its new state-of-the-art venue—in a conference game against UC San Diego. The competition, Jan. 26, begins at 12:30 p.m.
CSU will be back in Colorado three weeks later for a contest against the University of Colorado’s club team, followed by CSU’s tournament March 3-4. All games that weekend will be played at the VMAC.
“It’s exciting to have teams come out to our pool,” Moody said, “especially a team like Cal State East Bay. They’re in our conference and have a great program. We’re starting to have more teams come out to our pool, which will be very critical in building our program.”
The round-robin tournament features four teams. The Rams will play two contests on Saturday, in addition to one on Sunday.
CSU faces Cal State East Bay at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a 2:30 p.m. game against Indiana to conclude the day.
“Indiana’s a great program, a top-20 program year in and year out,” Moody said. “I have high respect for Barry King and his team.”
On Sunday, the Rams will play the Renegades, a club team out of Canada.
“That will be a new experience,” Moody said. “It will be fun to have some international experience come into our backyard.”
From there, CSU continues conference play, facing UC San Diego and UC Irvine on the road, followed by three tournaments, all in California.
“I’m really excited for the second half of our season,” Moody said. “We finish up spring break with LMU (Loyola Marymount), and we have a good cycle with a weekend on followed by a weekend off.”
During that period, the Rams will play at Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Monterey Bay and Santa Clara, all conference tournaments.
“It will be a very competitive season,” Moody said. “I like where our team’s at right now, but it should be a good year for all of our conference teams.”
The Western Water Polo Association conference championship tournament takes place at UC San Diego’s campus April 27-29, followed by the NCAA water polo championships May 11-13, also in San Diego.
CSU entered the conference tournament in 2011 as the No. 4 seed, the best seed in program history, and finished the season ranked fifth. The Rams received votes in the national poll in 2011 for the first and earned their first All-American in Ali Pavlik. CSU was also recognized as one of the nation’s top academic programs, being one of 31 teams with a combined grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Four individuals, including three returners, were recognized by the WWPA.