Event: Sonoma State Seawolf Splash Tournament
Where: Sonoma State University – Rohnert Park, Calif.
When: Saturday and Sunday, all day
Who to watch: Coach Jamey Wright has constantly praised the play of his freshmen. Jessica Dunn is no exception.
“I’m very pleased with how well Jessica is playing,” he said. “I think she’s moving in the right direction.”
The Los Alamitos, Calif. posted her first collegiate hat trick in the Aggies 14-3 victory over Cal State Bakersfield at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational two weeks ago.
Did you know? This weekend’s tournament will be the first time the Aggies have ever played at Sonoma State. The Seawolves’ pool is not the standard 50-meter pool UC Davis is used to, something Wright says could be a problem.
“The shorter pool gives the weaker teams an advantage by making defending easier,” Wright said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us to keep up the tempo of the game.”
Preview: The Aggies’ four opponents this weekend have combined for 12 wins all season.
Wright is still not taking any of the games easily.
“We could go 0-4 or 4-0,” Wright said. “All we’ve got to do is take it one game at a time.”
UC Davis (3-5) is scheduled to play Cal Lutheran, Sonoma State, Cal State East Bay and five-time NCAA tournament winner UCLA, all of which Wright called strong programs.
To prepare for the tough weekend, Wright said he and the team spent their weekend off looking at game film.
“It makes a big point when you actually see what you need to work on,” Wright said.
The Aggies noticed that their pressure on the ball was their biggest weakness, so much so for Wright to call it their Achilles heel. He said little slip ups on defense can lead to quick goals for the opposition.
“Our defenders would get caught in between helping the players behind them and putting pressure on the player with the ball,” Wright said. “It’s something we need to work on quickly.”
UC Davis also noticed they were struggling on the short side of 6 on 5’s, or the water polo equivalent of power plays.
“We’re having players play different positions at practice,” Wright said. “We want everybody to have three or four positions they’re good at so when these situations come up we can be ready.”
– Jason Alpert