This weekend, the UCSB women’s water polo team will play two important Mount Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) games, which will heavily impact the team’s rankings.

On Saturday, #10 UCSB will compete against #18 Arizona State University at noon at Campus Pool. With last year’s 9-1 victory against the Sun Devils in mind, the Gauchos feel very confident about the game.

“We have played strongly against them in the past and we will definitely play strongly against them now,” Head Coach Danielle Altman said. “This is the best water polo we’ve played all year.”

Santa Barbara hopes this win will improve their overall record of 13-8, as well as their MPSF record of 2-3.

UCSB will play one of its most challenging games on Saturday against #2 Stanford. Though the Cardinal currently holds an MPSF record of 9-1 and has defeated UCSB in past games, the Gauchos remain extremely confident.

“We have nothing to lose in this game,” sophomore utility Erika Clark said. “Everyone seems to be well-matched.”

Altman agreed that all the top 12 ranked teams are fairly close with regard to ability level. The team and coaches are very eager about the game’s outcome and feel assured that UCSB will play at its 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, having given up the least amount of goals compared to all of the other league teams. Sunday’s game at noon at Campus Pool will be a true and intense test of the Gauchos’ ability.

“This will be a tough game, but we can do it,” Clark said.