Dec. 6, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Colorado State water polo coach Mike Moody announced his team's 2013 schedule on Thursday, and again, it will be among the most difficult in the nation.
In all, CSU will play at least nine teams who were ranked in the top 20 of last year's final Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll, including a tournament in March against five of those teams. On the schedule that weekend will be Stanford, the reigning national champion.
"I'm really excited for our schedule this year," said Moody, now in his eighth season with the program. "We changed some things up this year, and I'm hoping it gives a different look four our girls."
Last year's strength of schedule ranked No. 24 nationally, with this year's likely rivaling that mark. CSU will also end up playing more high-level opponents, as two tournaments' opponents have yet to be announced. One of those tournaments, the Michigan Kick-Off, is historically known as one of the premier events in the country, and last year CSU played four teams ranked in the top 12 that weekend.
While the Rams will face numerous ranked teams throughout the course of the season, CSU is hoping to earn its way into those rankings themselves.
In 2012, CSU received its first-ever national ranking, earning the No. 20 spot in late January. The Rams would struggle in the early going against top-level opponents, however, falling out of the polls.
"CSU needs to be a powerhouse," Moody said. "Water polo takes that to heart. We don't back down. We work as hard as anybody in the country, so we welcome the challenge of facing the best teams and trying to beat and become them."
The 2013 season will begin on Jan. 14 against Cal State Northridge in a neutral-site exhibition contest in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two teams will square off at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
"We're always excited to begin a new season, but I think this will be fun for the girls to compete at the Olympic Training Center."
From there, CSU will play in three tournaments over the next several weeks, including at Michigan, Brown and UC Davis. In the Aggie Shootout in Davis, Calif., CSU will face two of its WWPA foes--Sonoma State and Santa Clara.
Sandwiched between the tournaments will be an exhibition contest against a Colorado All-Star club team, comprised of the best players from the University of Colorado and University of Denver club programs. The game began last season, with CSU defeating the All-Stars, 18-2.
"Last year we played the game, and it was a great opportunity for us, but also for the state of Colorado," Moody said. "We're going to try and continue this tradition, and add more teams to make it a true all-star game."
The game will be held on Feb. 23 at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Thornton, Colo. It will be one of two home contests in 2013--both are exhibition games and will not count in the team's standings--played at the new state-of-the-art facility, which became home to the Rams in 2012.
While the Rams don't have any official home contests in 2013, CSU has at least three guaranteed home conference games in 2014, in addition to hosting the 2014 WWPA Championships in April.
Perhaps the toughest portion of CSU's schedule will come during a three-day stretch in late March, when the Rams play six matches at Arizona State. The tournament will feature the Sun Devils (ranked No. 5 in last year's final poll), Michigan (No. 13), Hartwick (No. 17), California Baptist (No. 19) and the defending national champion, Stanford Cardinal.
"It's going to be really, really exciting and challenging," Moody said. "We're going to be in the same pool as Stanford. On this year's team, they have three Olympians from the 2012 gold-medal-winning team, so it'll be a great opportunity for us."
The Rams will then face Cal State East Bay in a conference match the first week of April, followed by a tournament at Santa Clara and a home exhibition game with some of CSU's former players (April 13).
"It's our first true alumni reunion," Moody said. "We have a number of players who will be back, and it's an opportunity for us to recognize the history and tradition that they started nine years ago. A lot of the girls coming back are the ones who started it, and it's important for us to remember those who paved the way."
CSU will then travel back to Santa Clara to compete in the WWPA Championships. The Rams, who were the No. 8 seed going into last year's conference tournament, earned two wins and a sixth-place finish.
"We finished stronger than where we started, and we're looking to pick up where we left off at the end of last year," Moody said.
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04/28/2013Despite a 12-7 loss to Santa Clara on Sunday, CSU finished fourth at the WWPA Championships, tying the program's best mark. It was a bittersweet day, as it was the program's final game. Read More [+]04/27/2013The CSU water polo team played an exceptional first half against top-seeded UC San Deigo, but a second-half scoring drought gave the Tritons a 14-6 win Saturday in the semifinals. Read More [+]04/26/2013The CSU water polo team picked up a big win on Friday, defeating Sonoma State in the quarterfinals of the WWPA Championships, 9-8. The win guarantees CSU a top-four finish. Read More [+]04/25/2013The CSU water polo team enters this weekend's WWPA Championships in Santa Clara, Calif., as the No. 4 seed, tying its best-ever seed. The Rams will face Sonoma State on Friday in the quarterfinals. Read More [+]04/22/2013The CSU water polo team earned a program-record four postseason honors Monday, as three different Rams were recognized by the WWPA, including Ariel Arcidiacono as the Newcomer of the Year. Read More [+]04/15/2013Twenty-two former Colorado State water polo players rejoined the program on Saturday for CSU's first reunion game. In all, 40 of the program's 63 all-time players were in attendance. Read More [+]04/10/2013The CSU water polo team will host a reunion game on Saturday, bringing back 15-20 former players. The scrimmage will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the VMAC in Thornton. Admission is free. Read More [+]04/07/2013The CSU water polo team concluded its regular season on Sunday, falling to Santa Clara and No. 8 Hawai'i. The Rams will next compete at the WWPA Championships (April 26-28). Read More [+]04/06/2013After a loss to UC San Diego early in the day, the Rams came back for a close win against Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday afternoon in the first day of The Bronco. Read More [+]04/05/2013Colorado State (7-16, 2-3 WWPA) began its California weekend with a challenging day against WWPA conference foe Cal State East Bay, losing the pairing 13-8. Read More [+]04/04/2013The CSU water polo team will play in its final regular-season games this weekend. The Rams will play a WWPA contest at Cal State East Bay on Friday, followed by four games in The Bronco. Read More [+]03/25/2013Sunday was a challenge for the Colorado State water polo team. The Rams faced two top-20 teams, falling to No. 19 Hartwick, 18-5, and No. 2 Stanford, 16-6. Read More [+]03/23/2013Competing twice on Day 2 of the Arizona State Tournament, CSU earned a split, defeating La Verne, 13-9, after falling to No. 18 Michigan, 12-4, at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. Read More [+]03/22/2013Playing in one of the most challenging tournaments in the country, Colorado State feels as if it let a win slip away on Friday, dropping two on the first day of action from the Mona Plummer Aquatic... Read More [+]03/20/2013After a 3-1 weekend in California, the Rams return to the pool for arguably their most challenging week of the season, facing four ranked teams in three days at the Arizona State Tournament. Read More [+]