Like most of the student body, the Michigan women’s water
polo team spent its Spring Break in the sunshine. But, instead of
relaxing on the beaches of Mexico, the squad was hard at work in
the pools out West, taking on some of the best teams in the
country.

As has been the case in past visits to California, the road trip
proved to be another learning experience for the Wolverines. Even
though the team dropped four of six games, several positives came
out of the visit. Michigan faced great teams, including No. 1
Southern Cal. So while the losses may have hurt Michigan’s
overall record, they should prove to be extremely valuable in the
long run.

“We have to keep playing teams that make us play
better,” coach Matt Anderson said. “It is one thing to
win a game you should win, and another thing to play a team that
will make you better. That is how you learn.

“We played very well, just not quite well enough. We had a
really good showing, except for the losses. To lose three games by
a total of five goals shows we can be competitive with the best
teams in the country.”

Michigan looks to take this learning experience with it in a
trip to Bloomington tomorrow for the first Collegiate Water Polo
Association Divisional Weekend of the season. Not only is this
weekend’s tournament a chance for the Wolverines to get back
on the winning track, but the results of this tournament will
determine the seeding for the Divisional Championship in April.
Michigan will also be putting its perfect conference record on the
line. The team is 24-0 in divisional play since the program began
in 2001.

The featured matchup of the tournament is Michigan’s
showdown against its biggest rival, No. 9 Indiana. Despite the fact
that the Hoosiers have not beaten Michigan in 14 contests, the
games are always close and intense. Of those 14 games, five have
gone into overtime and 10 have been decided by two goals or fewer.
At the season-opening Michigan Invite, the Wolverines won 4-2. As
always, the game was fierce and physical, displaying the intense
rivalry.

“(Indiana coach) Barry (King) and I remain good
friends,” Anderson said. “Before the game, we wish each
other good luck and we are good friends after the game, too.
However, during the game we are not friends.”

The Wolverines will also face Slippery Rock tomorrow.
Michigan’s all-time record is 6-0 against Slippery Rock,
including an 18-3 victory in last season’s Divisional
Championship. The Wolverines will then meet a similar-looking foe
in the Grove City Lady Wolverines. Michigan is also undefeated
against Grove City.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.