It is said that football is a game of inches. Apparently, water polo is a game of miles – 66 miles to be exact.
Only hours after being honored at the swimming and diving team’s Senior Day and dominating the Roadrunners, Heidi Kucera and Ashley Chandler both traveled 66 miles to challenge Cal State Bakersfield in the pool. Earlier in the day, Chandler had taken part in both the 200-medley relay and won the 100 backstroke.
She, however, wouldn’t be content in just showing up after making the trip. She tallied three goals as the Aggies beat the Roadrunners, 13-3.
“Chandler’s speed is phenomenal,” said women’s water polo coach Jamey Wright. “All her goals were due to her great speed. They were chasing us most of the afternoon.”
Along with Chandler’s three goals, sophomore Jessica Dunn also posted a hat trick.
“We have really balanced scoring,” Wright said. “It gives everyone confidence that they’re making a contribution. Everyone is involved and in the game.”
The Aggies were not only balanced on offense but also refused to yield easy goals.
“We played really well on defense,” Wright said. “We forced them to take a lot of bad shots and took advantage of the team speed.”
The weekend didn’t start off so well for the Aggies as the Canadian Sr. National Team greeted them with a 13-5 loss.
Wright, however, was upbeat about the exhibition game loss.
“It wasn’t that bad and we played relatively sharp,” Wright said. “One of our goals was to protect the ball which we did for the first half. The second half kind of got away from us.”
Though the Aggies scored only five times, Wright was pleased with the aggressiveness of the offense – something that contributed to the 13-3 victory over the Roadrunners.
“Our goal was to get in the strike area and get good shots,” Wright said. “We took 17 for the game and drew five ejections. I’m happy as can be for a 13-5 loss.”
Still, the Aggies open up their season 1-0 with a victory, sweeping the Roadrunners in both pool sports. Next week, UC Davis will play San Jose State, Cal State Monterey Bay, California and Santa Clara University in the Spartan Invitational starting on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
MATT WANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.