Men's Water Polo: Cal Dives Into Pacific for Third Consecutive Game





  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

The Cal men's water polo team must feel as though it is starring in the water polo version of Groundhog Day.

It seems every time the Bears show up at the pool, they see Pacific staring back at them.

No. 3 Cal (3-2, 0-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) takes on the No. 5 Tigers (5-2, 1-0) for its third consecutive game this Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex. 

The two teams have scrapped it out over the past two matches, each coming away with one victory. 

Pacific has been the surprise powerhouse of the season, armed with a crop of new players with valuable redshirt experience.

The Tigers' national ranking has climbed rapidly from No. 11 to No. 5 in the three weeks since this season's opening, after wins over No. 7 Loyola Marymount and No. 2 USC in the Southern California Tournament.

Cal, which had beaten Pacific in five consecutive regular-season games before falling last Saturday in Stockton, has not taken defeat lightly.

"We're a great team with strong leadership," junior goalkeeper Tim Kates said. "We want to show them that we don't let other teams come into our house and outplay us."     

The Bears defeated the Tigers 9-7 in the third-place match of the Southern California Tournament, but were upset 8-5 last week.

Pacific shocked Cal with six unanswered goals in the third quarter. 

"We truly only had one bad quarter," Kates said about the loss to the Tigers.  "We weren't on the same page, offensively and defensively."

The lack of organization led to less than smooth transitions between the offense and defense and allowed for turnovers and mistakes, Kates added.

"It gave us a reality check for what we need to do in order to improve through the season," Kates said. "We've been having more intense practices this week to improve on those things."

Controlling the ball more efficiently, reducing the turnover rate, and establishing control early on in the game are the main skills Cal is concentrating on in practice, coach Kirk Everist said.

"We need to concentrate more on playing better than last time and playing good water polo," Everist said. "And less on just winning the game."

The Bears expect familiarity to work to their advantage, allowing them to prepare specific strategies to counter the Tigers' set plays.

"We've been working on specific defensive strategies that are unique to playing against them," Kates said.

The team has also been putting in extra time watching tapes of the previous games to target its weaknesses, Everist said.

Though next week's NorCal Tournament sets up the chance of a mind-numbing fourth consecutive meeting with Pacific, Cal isn't giving in to the insanity just yet.

"It doesn't matter who we play," Kates said. "We just love to play water polo."

Tags:






Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
Sports
Image McLachlan's win helps Cal advance
Riki McLachlan wasn't supposed to play singles in Saturday's second round...Read More»
Sports
Image Bears run by Utes, into the national final
For many Cal students, Saturday marked the end of their collegiate caree...Read More»
Sports
Image Bears fall short in first ever NCAA final
Battling furiously near the front of the cage, Stanford's Annika Dries re...Read More»
Sports
Image Cal dispatches Trojans, advances to round of 16
With the Cal women's tennis team needing one more win to clinch a v...Read More»
Sports
Image Tedford picks Maynard as the Bears' starting quart...
In recent years, Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has kept...Read More»
Sports
Image Bears drop weekend series in Corvallis
Sundays haven't been kind to Cal's starting pitchers lately. A week ago, O...Read More»
Right Arrow




Job Postings

White Space