Women’s Water Polo Preview

Event: California Speedo Invitational
Teams: No. 16 UC Davis, No. 5 San Jose State University, No. 1 Stanford University
Records: Aggies (2-2); Spartans (3-0); Cardinal (0-0)
Where: Spieker Aquatic Complex — Berkeley, California
When: Saturday 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Who to watch: Senior center and co-captain Alicia Began. She recorded five goals and five assists for a team-high 10 points in last weekend’s season-opening tournament.
Did you know? San Jose State sophomore 2-meter player Timi Molnar, a veteran of the Hungarian national team and returning All-American, scored seven goals in last weekend’s tournament but was held scoreless against UC Davis.
Preview: The UC Davis women’s water polo team will have another crack at beating a top-five team in this weekend’s tournament in Berkeley, with a rematch in the morning against No. 5 San Jose State and then a chance to upset the defending NCAA Champions No. 1 Stanford Cardinal in the afternoon.

Head coach Jamey Wright used a number of combinations of players in last weekend’s tournament to get a better idea of the level of skill and depth of his team.

“Most of our freshmen played a fair amount and did a really good job,” Wright said. “Our centers did a really good job holding position and our defenders did a good job at making it difficult for the other team’s center to obtain position.”

Wright admitted that although the Aggies lost to the Spartans, he believes that was his team’s best effort of the tournament. Facing the defending national champions, however, is going to be another challenge.

“We need to focus on our front-court offense and not turning the ball over or taking wild, unpredictable shots,” said Wright. “An organized offense makes an easy transition to getting into a strong front-court defense. Stanford counters better than anybody and they’ll take advantage of mistakes you make on offense.”

All-Americans Alyssa Lo and Kaley Dodson return for the Cardinal, but will be without first-team honorees Annika Dries and Melissa Seidemann, who are sitting out the year to train for the 2012 Olympics.

The Aggies have an early start Saturday morning playing their rematch with the Spartans at 9 a.m. and then taking on the Cardinal at 4:30 p.m.

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