This weekend the UCSB women’s water polo team will play two important Mount Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) league games. The upcoming games should heavily impact the women’s rankings.
On Saturday, #10 UCSB will compete against #18 Arizona State University at noon at Campus Pool. The Gauchos feel very confident about the game, with last year’s 9-1 victory against the Sun Devils in mind.
“We have played strong against them in the past, and we will definitely play strong against them now,” Head Coach Danielle Altman said. “This is the best water polo we’ve played all year.”
The Gauchos hope this win will improve their overall record of 13-8, as well as their MPSF record of 2-3.
On Sunday, Santa Barbara plays one of their most challenging games versus #2-ranked Stanford University. Stanford currently holds an MPSF record of 9-1 and has defeated UCSB in the past, yet the girls remain extremely confident.
“We have nothing to lose in this game, everyone seems to be well-matched,” sophomore utility Erika Clark said.
Altman agreed that all the top-12 ranked teams are fairly close with regard to skill level. Both the Gauchos and their coaches are very enthusiastic about the game’s possible outcome and secure that UCSB will play at their best.
“Stanford is solid, but we have been playing clean and solid water polo,” Altman said. “Though we may have struggled against them in the past, this year will be different.”
This year the Gauchos have proven their power and skill, winning the title of the top defensive team statistically in the MPSF; surrendering the fewest goals compared to the other league teams. Sunday’s game at noon at the Campus Pool will be a true and intense test to the Gauchos’ ability.
“This will be a tough game, but we can do it,” said Clark.