The UCSB women’s water polo team started off their season with three wins in a mini-tournament held on Jan. 31.
The round robin tournament included four teams: UCSB, Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine and Cal State San Bernardino. The Gauchos came out victorious, beating all three teams.
“It was really not about the placing in this tournament, it was mainly a way to get some of the new girls to get out there and really experience college water polo,” fourth-year captain two-meter guard Mica Bell said.
The Gauchos have a young team this year, with only one senior and 10 incoming freshmen.
“This was a competitive tournament,” Head Coach Danielle Altman said. “I think it went really well, the younger players continue to learn, and it shows.”
In the first game, sophomore utility Jennifer D’Anna led Santa Barbara to a 5-3 victory over CSUN.
“Our second game was probably the hardest, we came together really well and played tough,” Bell said.
In the second game of the tournament the Gauchos handed the Anteaters a 5-3 defeat. In the final game of the day, UCSB, led by freshman two-meter guard Aimee Stachowski, overpowered San Bernardino with a score of 2-8.
“We started off slow, but as the day progressed we meshed as a team and really progressed,” Bell said.
Last season the UCSB water polo team finished the year ranked ninth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and start this season ranked 11th.
“The girls have the potential to do really well, it will depend on the other teams and our match-ups, but I think we will have a good season,” Altman said.
This weekend the women will travel to San Diego to compete in a tournament.
“This will be a good test of where we are, along with a start to a big year for us,” Bell said.