Third time’s the charm for water polo

Tracy Ko/Daily
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By Marina Nazario, For the Daily
Published April 6, 2014

Caliswag. That’s what the Michigan water polo team now has after its sweep this past weekend — its first win in California after three tries this season.

The Wolverines won both of their games in Hayward and Rohnert Park, Calif., with a 13-6 win Saturday against California State-East Bay and again Sunday against Sonoma State.

With 15 Californians on its roster, Michigan was able to enjoy the results even more.

“It was exciting because a majority of us are from California, so we actually travel really well fan-wise throughout the state,” said senior Audrey Pratt. “We had more fans than the home team, which was exciting for us along with being able to see our friends and family.”

Though it wasn’t at Canham Natatorium, the Wolverines treated the matches as if the matches were at their home pool. The players traveled to two different pools in Northern California, both of which were a lot smaller than the Wolverines are used to. But once they got the lay of the land, Michigan came out on top.

Against Sonoma State, the Wolverines never trailed. Sophomore driver Presley Pender led Michigan with five goals, a career best.

Unlike against Sonoma State, the Wolverines faced some difficulty versus California State.

California State took a one-point lead toward the end of the first quarter, but Pratt tied the score at three.

From there, the Wolverines took off, scoring four more goals in the half. They maintained their lead throughout the second half, scoring two goals in the third quarter and four in the fourth.

Nine different Wolverines scored at least one goal in the Saturday game. Goalies freshman Emily Browning and sophomore Hayden Green shared the net with a combined 14 saves.

“We got better, in each game, as the game went on, and that’s what you want to do at this point in the season ” said Michigan coach Matt Anderson.

With these victories under their belt after a tough loss to Indiana last week, the Wolverines will be back in their regular home pool next weekend in a tournament against Hartwick, Gannon and Notre Dame.