65.3 F

Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Women’s Water Polo Preview

Event: Davis Challenge
Teams: UC Davis (1-5) vs. Cal Lutheran; vs. CSU Bakersfield; vs. Pacific; vs. Sonoma State
Where: Schaal Aquatics Center — Davis, Calif.
When: Saturday through Sunday
Who to watch: Senior Jessica Dunn ought to be thrilling to watch, as she put on a phenomenal performance against top-ranked and two-time defending NCAA champion Stanford. Dunn scored her 23rd career hat trick against the Cardinals, hitting a pair of 6-on-5 goals in addition to a 5-meter penalty shot. She was able to capitalize on the opportunity when junior teammate Hanna Curran was fouled.

Dunn boasts an abundance of achievements, from ranking fourth in school history with 148 goals to becoming the second Aggie to hit the double-century mark. Expect a solid and impressive performance from the accomplished veteran.

Did you know? Last year at the Aggie shootout, UC Davis came away with solid results. The Aggie women shut down eight teams consecutively, including the prestigious Harvard University. At one point, the team was on a nine-game winning streak before falling to California.

The team also defeated their upcoming competitor last year, Sonoma State, 9-5. Then-sophomore attacker Carmen Eggert scored a total of six goals, as the Aggies improved to 7-5 for the season. Senior Ariel Feeney and junior Kaylee Miller both chipped in with several assists throughout the course of the game. As shown by the Aggies’ performance last year, the women are a dominating force at home.

Preview: The Aggies will look to bounce back from a grueling and disappointing loss against Stanford University this weekend at a two-day home tournament. The tournament features Cal Lutheran and CSU Bakersfield in Saturday’s round-robin, followed by CLU, Pacific and Sonoma State on Sunday.

“These are all really good opponents who, if we don’t take care of business, can make us go 2-2 or 1-3 for the weekend,” said head coach Jamey Wright. “Our goal is to go 4-0 but we have to take this one game at a time because they all present different challenges.”

That being said, the Aggies plan to take each game at a time and look to condition themselves mentally for the impending challenge. They will seek to allot their time and energy efficiently throughout the course of the two-day battle.

I want to feel more comfortable about changing our extra-man,” Wright said. “We went to a 3-3. It’s like starting in a shotgun in football. It’s a different way to start your 6-on-5. You’re more spaced out and you can move from there. I felt more comfortable with it in practice last week and in Saturday’s game, notwithstanding how good Stanford is. So I want to feel better about our 6-on-5 offense and our counterattack. I thought we created some good opportunities against Stanford, and I want to continue working on that.”

The women’s water polo team will head to Irvine a week from Saturday to face an opponent that is yet to be announced.

— Veena Bansal


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