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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Team sponsors invitational for 3 opponents

After a tie and two overtime losses to Michigan earlier this season, revenge is on the mind of the water polo team as it plays host to a four-team field at the Indiana Invitational at Councilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center this weekend.\nMichigan State is first on IU's agenda at 1 p.m Saturday, followed by a date with No. 18 Massachusetts at 7:30 p.m. In the final match of the invitational, the No. 17 Hoosiers (13-7-1) take on No. 13 Michigan (14-9-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday.\nOf the three opponents, it's obvious which team has the Hoosiers most motivated.\n"Michigan is the team we are most excited playing against," senior Kelly McKay said. "We started thinking about this game the second the buzzer went off ending our last game."\nThe last two games the Hoosiers have lost have been at the hands of the Wolverines -- both occurring last weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the College Water Polo Association Conference Weekend Invitational. The first was a 6-5 double-overtime thriller. In the second matchup with Michigan, the Hoosiers fell 10-9 after three overtimes.\n"It has always been a fun rivalry, but the fact that the games have been so close makes it an even better rivalry," sophomore Kristin Stanford said.\nCoach Barry King said he thinks home-field advantage might help push IU over the top.\n"We are excited to get to play Michigan at home," he said. "We are looking for the benefits of being in front of a hopefully large, rowdy crowd."\nNot to be forgotten are UMass and Michigan State.\nUMass (8-5) finished in fifth place at the Collegiate National Championships last season. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season.\n"The UMass match is important because they are regarded as the best team in the the Northern Division, and those are the teams we are going to have to beat," King said.\nMichigan State is a club team but is no stranger to IU. The Hoosiers have had MSU's number, claiming a 15-0 record against the Spartans, including a 9-3 win this year.\n"Michigan State will be a good tune-up opportunity for us," King said. "We'll try to get as many players in and get some experience."\nWith the CWPA Northern District Championships next weekend, these are the last regular season contests for the Hoosiers this season but are their first home games. \nCoaches and players alike are relieved to finally have a match in Bloomington.\n"The road can be tough on you," King said. "The travel, worrying about where to eat or where to stay and things like that all wear on the team. We have been busy unpacking just so we can pack again."\nMcKay said she agrees.\n"We are all hyped to play at home," she said. "It'll finally be nice to be here on the weekend.

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