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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Hoosiers eye back-to-back CWPA Eastern conference titles

The No. 12 IU women’s water polo team will travel to Providence, R.I., for the CWPA Eastern Championships, which take place Friday through Sunday.

The Hoosiers will come in as defending champions and seek to repeat their title in a field IU Coach Barry King said he believes has no true favorites.

“It’s probably as even and wide open as it has been for quite some time, seven or eight groups that are playing very well at this time of the year, and all of them have a shot at doing it,” King said. “It’s going to come down to people finishing power plays and getting a few lucky breaks. It’s always good to have a keeper on the hot streak.”

The keeper King referred to is senior goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff. She currently has 331 saves this season, which is 17 shy of her mark last year. Wyckoff and the No. 3-seeded Hoosiers will face either No. 6-seeded Brown or No. 11-seeded Gannon.

After that match, IU’s opponents and the match start times will be based on its play and the results of the other matches.

“When Cassie plays well, we play with a lot of confidence defensively,” King said. “That generates more counterattack opportunities for us, so we swim better from defense to offense.”

While Wyckoff remains in goal, sophomore Shae Fournier has led the team in goals. King said he prefers a balance of offense rather than letting Fournier carry the team.

“Offensive balance has been the biggest improvement,” he said. “Early, we were kind of getting stuck watching Shae doing a lot of work, and freshmen were struggling to find their place and get used to the pace of the game. That has improved dramatically, and now we have people making contributions off the ball and with the ball.”

Unrelated to weekend play, former IU water polo All-American Kristin Stanford was inducted into the CWPA Hall of Fame on April 26. Stanford is the all-time scoring leader at Indiana with 246 goals and is the first Hoosier to be inducted.

“Kristin was above and beyond, academically and athletically, and was always striving to be better for the program,” King said. “I couldn’t think of anybody in the program that deserves this more now than Kristin. It’s fun to have somebody that you worked with, saw grow up and get these accolades.”

As for the upcoming competition, King said he looks for his team to continue what has become a more balanced offense in the later part of the season.

“As long as we’re balanced offensively and we’re not relying on Shae to be more than 40 to 50 percent of our offense, where she’s more 20 to 25 percent, we’re a much more effective group,” King said.

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