60 F

Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Women’s Water Polo Preview

Event: UC Irvine Anteater Invitational

Where: Anteater Swimming Complex – Irvine, Calif.

When: Saturday and Sunday, all day

Who to watch: An injury can be devastating to one person, but a blessing to another.

When junior Rachelle Smith went down with an broken nose, junior Michelle Hook was there to step up.

The utility player from La Jolla, Calif. scored four goals to lead the Aggies in their 18-11 win over No. 19 Cal State East Bay last Sunday.

Did you know? The Aggies had seven different players score hat tricks at last weekend’s Sonoma State Seawolf Splash Tournament.

Preview: The Aggies are in store for their biggest test yet.

UC Davis will be in a field of 16 of the nation’s top teams at this weekend’s UC Irvine Anteater Invitational. The field includes the top 12 nationally ranked teams.

“It’s the most competitive tournament of the year,” Wright said. “It’s challenging yet exciting at the same time – we’re going in up against the wall.”

Scheduled to be at the tournament are No. 4 UCLA, No. 3 California, No. 2 Southern California and No. 1 Stanford.

The Aggies first game comes against the Golden Bears, a team they fell to 11-5 in their second game of the season. Freshman Carly Ternasky led the Aggies with two goals in that contest.

“We’ve definitely gotten better since we played Cal,” Wright said. “The problem is they’ve probably gotten better too.”

If UC Davis beats Cal, it will put the Aggies into the upper bracket where they could play for the tournament championship. If they lose, they play for ninth through 16th place.

“There are no bad teams in the tournament,” Wright said. “Either way, we’re going to play four very competitive teams.”

Five of the six Big West Conference squads will be at the tournament. Therefore, there is a good chance the Aggies will match up against a league rival. Wright feels this is a good thing to see conference foes early in the season.

“We’ll be able to see where we’re at compared to some Big West teams before league play starts,” Wright said. “There are a lot of conference games to be played, but this weekend will give us a good gauge of what we need to work on.”

-Jason Alpert


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