The No. 14 IU water polo team was able to bookend the weekend with wins, but was unable to pick up any victories in between. The team went 2-3 and finished seventh overall in the Stanford Invitational. The Hoosiers’ overall record now stands at 3-6.
“We played ok,” sophomore Rebecca Gerrity said. “We could have played better, but we had good play for most of our games.”
The weekend started Friday night with a 9-8 triumph against No. 12 UC Davis in Davis, Calif. It was the team’s first win against a ranked foe this season.
Then, on Saturday, IU traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. to partake in the Stanford Invitational.
IU’s first opponent in the invitational was No. 4 California. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter, but couldn’t hold on long. The Golden Bears outscored the Hoosiers 11-3 over the next three periods to take the contest 12-7.
IU also faced No. 11 Hawaii Saturday, but wasn’t as successful, falling 14-6 to the Rainbow Wahine.
IU then faced No. 3 UCLA on Sunday. The Hoosiers again jumped out early on a top-ranked opponent. They led 1-0 against the Bruins after the first quarter, but went on to lose 9-5. IU is now 0-2 on the year against UCLA after losing to the Bruins 8-4 on Jan. 20.
Gerrity had an idea as to why her team couldn’t hold on to the early leads.
“I think that we were really excited for the first whistle to show teams what we can do,” she said. “Then they adjust, and we just don’t adjust quite as well to their defensive adjustments. And also, when we get scored on so many times, we kind of step back and don’t quite rebound as well as we should.”
In the final game of the tournament, IU faced No. 16 Hartwick. The Hoosiers gained an early advantage again at 2-1, but held on this time for a 9-6 victory. IU’s 1-3 record in the invitational placed them seventh out of eight participating teams. All six teams that finished better than IU were ranked higher than the Hoosiers.
Senior attacker Jakie Köhli led all IU scorers on the weekend with 11 goals, including a five-goal performance against Hartwick. Köhli now has 18 goals on the season, which leads the team.
Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault got the start in goal in all five games. She made 31 saves, bringing her season total to 57.
Although sophomore Summer Creighton labeled the weekend as “up and down”, she said was happy to end it with a victory against Hartwick, who is a conference rival. The Hoosiers will play them Feb. 16 in the Bison Invitational.
“It’s always nice to end with a win, especially getting a tie-breaker in a conference game,” she said. “We’ll definitely be ready for the next time when we play them.”