Teams: No. 15 UC Davis vs. No. 13 UC Irvine; vs. Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 16-9 (0-2); Anteaters 14-8 (0-0); 49ers, 11-12 (0-0)
Where: Schaal Aquatic Center
When: Saturday at noon; Sunday at noon
Who to watch: Goalie Riane Woods has a big role to play for the rest of the season.
Throughout the year, the Aggies have been known for their offense.
But with three consecutive losses and an 0-2 Big West Conference record, UC Davis knows that it can’t always rely on outshooting its opponents.
The sophomore from Carlsbad, Calif. did her part against the Gauchos last weekend. Posting only 3.4 saves over her past nine games, she tallied a career-high twelve saves in a narrow 14-13 loss on Sunday.
Did you know? The Anteaters have dominated the all-time series over the Aggies, with UC Davis 0-10 against UC Irvine since 2007.
Preview: It’s not early in the season anymore.
In fact, the women’s water polo squad finds itself in the most important portion of its year, dropping the first two conference games.
While their two losses may disappoint Aggie fans, coach Jamey Wright insists it’s not time to start throwing in the towel just yet.
“What I want to take from [last] weekend is that we need to hone up our defense and our 6-on-5 in tough game situations,” Wright said. “But we did a lot of things well. It’s not like we need to rip it all up and rebuild.”
Jessica Dunn had only two goals over the weekend and the Aggies scored only four times in eleven power plays, as the Gauchos frustrated UC Davis.
Against Cal State Northridge, however, the Aggies were much better with a 6-on-5 offense, but couldn’t effectively stop the Matadors in the second half.
UC Davis has a chance to make up ground against UC Irvine and Long Beach State this weekend.
UC Irvine’s winning streak was snapped by Stanford last Sunday. Prior to its loss, the Anteaters beat both No. 9 Loyola Marymount and No. 16 Hartwick.
Long Beach State is the only Big West Conference team with an overall losing record but has already topped UC Davis this year.
Defense looks to be a priority against the Anteaters and the 49ers, as both teams boast balanced scoring and skilled attackers.
Long Beach State has seven players posting double-digits in scoring while over half of UC Irvine’s players have scored 10 or more.
– Matt Wang