Water polo breaks even in Stanford

by Staff

It was a weekend of ups and downs for the San Diego State women’s water polo team.

The Aztecs traveled to Stanford on Saturday to compete in the Stanford Invitational Tournament, a two-day event attended by 12 teams, including nationally ranked teams UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Action began at 8:30 Saturday morning as the Aztecs defeated UC Davis, 10-7. Rachel Scott led SDSU with four goals. Heather Kohler and Melissa Brimm both scored two goals for the Aztecs.

“We’re playing together better as a team,” SDSU head coach Deena Schmidt said. “Our speed has picked up, along with our endurance.”

SDSU returned to the pool after a long rest to take on Team Canada. The Aztecs once again emerged victorious behind three goals from Sara Hanneman. Teri Mullins, Shae Philpott and Scott also contributed, scoring two goals each.

SDSU was one of four teams on Saturday, along with UCLA, Cal and Stanford, to be undefeated and win twice.

But Sunday was another story. The Aztecs opened the day by losing a close game to UCLA, 9-7, and later losing to Cal, 12-7, to place fourth in the tournament.

With a small team and a young squad, there are certain factors that only time will resolve.

“A lot of it is being young,” Schmidt said. “The longer you play together, the more you get familiar with your teammates.”

Currently, SDSU is ranked fourth in the nation. It is no surprise that UCLA, Stanford and Cal, all of which were teams at this weekend’s tournament, are ranked first, second and third.

With a 5-5 record, SDSU needs to make improvements. While good shooters and a strong defense may be highlights for the Aztecs, a low scoring percentage has been their plague.

“We need to improve our scoring,” Schmidt said. “We need to put more shots away.”

The Aztecs’ next competition is Friday, March 14, at UCLA.