Water polo goes 1-1 after invitational
March 29, 2017
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The California State East Bay water polo team split their games over the weekend versus the California State Monterey Bay Otters and the UC San Diego Tritons, both of which were Women’s Water Polo Association games.
On Friday, East Bay opened conference play against Cal State Monterey Bay (6-9 overall, 0-2 conference) in a close game.
East Bay made a comeback after being down 6-2 going into the second half. The team had a complete momentum shift in the second half led by a flurry of goals, as they scored 9 to complete the complete the comeback 11-10.
“We were able to adjust and score on Monterey by pushing up the tempo with our speed and counter attacking,” Tully said.
Freshman utility player Auriel Bill led the team in goals with 4. Tully and junior 2-Meter Leilani Vazquez added 2, while junior utility Rocio Fesembeck added 3.
On Monday, East Bay played another conference game against No.19 UC San Diego (14-12, 3-0).
The Tritons jumped out to an early lead, as they scored 4 goals in the first quarter and only allowed the Pioneers 1 goal with just 26 seconds in the quarter.
“San Diego was able to capitalize on our mistakes, a lot better than Monterey in the previous game,” senior goalkeeper Nikki Vaughan said. “In water polo it is all about which team can make the least amount of mistakes.”
East Bay tried to fight their way back against the Tritons as Tully scored 4 goals, 2 in the second quarter and 2 in the third, but the Tritons continued to have success on offense through crisp passes. San Diego scored 3 goals in a row to extend their lead to 11-5 after Tully narrowed the lead to 3.
“It felt good to score 4 goals, my mindset was to go in and take advantage of the opportunities given, but it would have felt better if we had won,” Tully said.
The Pioneers fell to San Diego 13-8, which put them at 1-1 in conference play and 10-11 overall. Vaughan had 11 saves in the game, with several key stops to help the Pioneers stay in the game, but it was not enough.
Last weekend, East Bay played in the Roadrunner Invitational hosted by California State Bakersfield, where they matched up against top their NCAA Division 1 teams. These teams included No.6 Arizona State, No.22 CSU Bakersfield, No. 12 San Diego State, and No.11 Princeton.
“Playing against top their teams was definitely an experience,” junior utility player Alicia Tully said. “It was definitely a learning experience, as a player it requires an open mind going in. Before games you can’t have a negative attitude because of how good the team is.”
The women lost every game against the four Division 1 opponents, but kept games close, as they only lost to Princeton by 3 points, 11-8.