With the beginning of the season just three months away, IU water polo released its schedule last Friday with a lot of changes from last year’s slate.
IU Coach Ryan Castle said at the end of last season that he wanted his team to play more west coast teams in order for IU's players to showcase their talents on a big stage.
Castle delivered on his remark, as the 2018 IU schedule features nine west coast teams before Collegiate Water Polo Association conference play begins March 25.
IU will only be returning to one invitational tournament from last season, the UC-Santa Barbara Winter Invite, which begins Jan. 20, where the Hoosiers will face Fresno State, UC-San Diego and Arizona State.
The Hoosiers will then play Santa Barbara, Iona and McKendree in Bloomington during the Hoosier Invite in late January before heading to the Triton Invitational at UC-San Diego. After taking a short two-week break, the team will fly back out to Santa Clara, California, to face Sonoma State, UC-Davis, Santa Clara and CSU Monterey Bay within a two-day period.
IU will also serve as the host school for the inaugural Indiana Classic which begins on March 3, during which the Hoosiers will play Hartwick, Cal Lutheran, Santa Clara, Virginia Military Institute and Marist. All five games will be played within two days, including the first three matches on the first day of the tournament.
Arizona State will be the site for IU’s next invite March 10 following the Indiana Classic, where the Hoosiers will battle against Fresno State for a second time, Ponoma-Pitzer, and the host school, the Sun Devils.
IU then closes nonconference play with neutral-site games against Washington & Jefferson and Harvard, before playing a road match at Bucknell.
The Hoosiers will end the regular season with seven straight CWPA conference matches, including a March 31 home match against Michigan and five games in three days in Boston.
Following the end of the regular season, IU will travel east to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, for the CWPA Tournament, hosted by Bucknell.
An interesting feature for IU in 2018 is the scheduling of two exhibition games against the China National Team while in Santa Barbara and the University of Toronto during the Hoosier Invite.
It will be IU’s second season with Castle as head coach.
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