Water polo to compete at Cal Baptist Tournament
The #6 Arizona State University water polo team will be back in action this weekend after a season-opening sweep as the team will head back west to take part in the Cal Baptist Mini Lancer Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 4. As opposed to five games spread across three days like ASU had last weekend, the Sun Devils (5-0)will be taking part in a one-day affair on Saturday at the Lancer Aquatics Center in Riverside, Calif. ASU will open up against #20 CSU Northridge at 9:15 PT and face CSU Bakersfield and CSU San Bernadino later in the afternoon.
IN THE TOURNAMENT
The #6 Sun Devils will take on three teams on Saturday at the Cal Baptist University Mini Lancer Invitational, starting with #20 CSU Northridge at 9:15 a.m. PT before the team’s second bout of the years against CSU Bakersfield at 2:15 p.m. and then wrapping up the day against CSU San Bernadino. The final match will come immediately after the CSU Bakersfield match and is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. and will test the stamina of the ASU squad to play literal back-to-back games
A LOOK BACK
The Sun Devils couldn’t have asked for a better season opener than the one it had last weekend when played #17 UC Santa Barbara on Friday before taking part in four more contests on Saturday and Sunday. The team posted a 5-0 record for its best start since 2009. ASU outscored its opponents 69-29 over the course of the weekend, including a 9-8 nailbited over #7 UC-Irvine. Twelve Sun Devils found the back of the net over the course of the weekend and 11 netted more then one over the five games. Alicia Brightwell introduced herself to the collegiate water polo world to the tune of 16 goals in five games.
FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT
Literally one of the last additions to the 2012 roster, senior transfer Alicia Brightwell wasted no time letting her presence be known. Brightwell netted 16 goals over five games in the team’s opening weekend and added nine assists to that tally. Both marks lead the team. The effort garnered the Sydney, Australia native Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week honors. A competitor for the Australian senior national team, Brightwell’s 16 goals already put her a third of the way to cracking ASU’s single-season top-10 goals list and her 25 points have her well on her way to doing the same on the single points scored list.
NOT IN OUR ‘NETA
Despite the dominance of the Sun Devil defense last weekend, it was set up by a stifling defense that is led by Ianeta Hutchinson in the goal. Over the course of the weekend, Hutchinson logged 38 saves on 67 attempts for a 57% save percentage. Hutchinson posted four shutout quarters and seven quarters where the opposition scored only a single goal.
IN THE RANKINGS
In the latest national Top 20 rankings, the Sun Devils remained at #6 in the country. The team opened up the season at #7, it’s second-highest opening ranking in history and moved to #6 despite not playing in a competition enterting last week. The Sun Devils dominance of its competition on the weekend asserted the team’s ranking though as the team heads in this weekend’s torunament.
The Sun Devils unbeaten record last weekend wasn’t the only successful performance in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation last weekend. In fact, no MPSF team lost during the entire course of January as the conference posted a 26-0 record over the course of the month. Cal leads the way with an 8-0 record with the Sun Devils and San Jose State right behind with 5-0 records. Only USC and Hawai’i have yet to compete this season.
GIVE HIM A HAND
Arizona State head coach earned his 200th career victory this past weekend in the teams 15-5 defeat over CSU Bakersfield. Clapper is now 201-157 in his 13th year as head coach with a 96-84 record at Arizona State.
CLIMBING HIGHER - GOALS
With her nine goals over opening weekend, senior Mariam Salloum jumped two spots in the team’s all-time career goals scored list to No. 6 all-time with 96 goals. Salloum is now 21 goals behind the team’s No. 5 all-time scorer in Ashley Bower (2004-07).
CLIMBING HIGHER - ASSISTS
Salloum also moved up the career assists list out of a tie for fifth to holding sole possession of fifth all-time with 79 career assists. She is now just five goals out of fourth on the ASU career list and 16 out of third.
CLIMBING HIGHER - POINTS
And naturally, along with moving up on the career points and assists lists, Salloum also moved up on the career points list. Her 175 points are just one out of cracking the top-five on ASU’s all-time list and 13 out of moving into the four-spot.
SPREADING IT AROUND
Twelve Sun Devils found the back of the net in the team’s season opening weekend with 11 doing so multiple times over the course of the weekend. Alicia Brightwell led all scorers with 16 goals over the team’s five games with senior Marriam Salloum next in line with nine and freshman Anna Kertes and junior Shannon Haas both with eight. ASU scored 69 goals on the weekend, and 41 of those came with assists as the team did a solid job of spreading the ball around.