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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Squad plays in own pool for 1st time this season at Western Division Championships

The IU water polo team will kick off its postseason this weekend as it plays at home for the Western Division Championships.

The No. 12 Hoosiers own the second seed in the bracket, garnering a first round matchup with seventh-seed Salem International. This is the first time the squad will play at home this season, beginning Saturday with a full slate of matches and continuing until mid-afternoon Sunday.

“It’s going to be good to have so much support here, so I think if anything it’s going to be really positive for us,” sophomore Shae Fournier said. “We’ve played in stressful atmospheres where other teams have so many people there, so it’s good for a change for us to have that.”

Coming into the playoffs, Indiana has won its past five matches, four of which were against Western Division opponents. Fournier has led the attack all season long, breaking the IU all time single-season scoring record and averaging 2.65 goals per match.

In the team’s match against rival Michigan, freshman Alexis Jones notched two goals in the final 6:33 to help IU top the Wolverines 8-7.

Her second goal came with 46 seconds left and would be the eventual match winner. With that win, Indiana was able to slide past Michigan for the second seed.

“I think definitely us, Michigan and Maryland are all really close,” Fournier said. “It’s going to be who’s going to show up mentally that day. I think we all have really good teams, so we just have to pull it together and be a team, not play individually.”

Aside from the mass of offense brought by Fournier and company, senior goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff has been in net all season. So far this year, she has 20 matches with double-digit blocks and racked up 308 saves. She had 15 saves during the win against Michigan, and IU averages just 6.47 goals allowed a match.

Wyckoff and senior Hannah Eimstad will be honored before the match as the team’s co-seniors. During their time at IU, they have amassed a 92-47 record and made an NCAA Championship appearance last year.

Indiana will have an opportunity this postseason to break the single-season wins record of 26, set by the 1998, 2003 and 2011 squads. IU Coach Barry King has hit the 20-win mark 13 times in his 15 seasons in Bloomington.

High stakes and a home atmosphere will add a lot of intensity, Fournier said.

“It’s going to bring a lot of excitement to the girls,” Fournier said.

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