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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Water polo prepares for Stanford Invitational

After suffering three losses to ranked teams in its season-opening weekend, the No. 14 IU water polo team will travel to California this weekend for five more matches against ranked foes.

There is a possibility all five opponents will be ranked higher than IU.

“It’s definitely fun to come in as the underdog, and we know we can play against them,” junior attacker Shae Fournier said. “I think if we can put a whole game together, we’ll have a great weekend ... I think it’s more exciting.”

Beginning 7 p.m. Friday, the Hoosiers (1-3) will face the No. 12 ranked UC Davis Aggies in Davis, Calif.

Then, on Saturday and Sunday, IU will partake in the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

In group play, the Hoosiers will battle the No. 4 California Golden Bears and the No. 11 Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8:15 p.m., respectively, and the No. 3 UCLA Bruins at 12:10 p.m Sunday.

IU will then face either the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal, No. 8 San Jose State Spartans, UC Davis or No. 16 Hartwick Hawks, depending how each school does in group play.

IU’s final contest could begin as early as 3:45 p.m. or as late as 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

With such strong competition lying ahead, sophomore Rebecca Gerrity says playing well is more important than racking up wins.

“It’s really important to be successful and win games, but more importantly, it’s imperative for us to play well as a team and feel good about our play,” she said.

“Coming out with wins would be really great, but, honestly, nothing really matters until Easterns. Just get preparation and getting confidence up would be good.”

After the Hoosiers finish this weekend, only two of their next 10 scheduled opponents are ranked. IU Assistant Coach Pat Beemer said the schedule setup is favorable for the team.

“It’s intentional,” he said. “We like to frontload our schedule with some really tough competition, so that by the time we’re into our conference games, which is still very competitive, we’re at least a little battle-tested.”

IU will be facing UCLA for the second time this year. Despite the Hoosiers jumping out to a 3-1 lead after the first quarter in the first match, the Bruins rallied back to snag the victory 8-4.

Fournier is looking forward to the opportunity to enact some revenge.

“I think we’re definitely looking to come out big against them,” she said. “We know we can do it, so I think it’s just going to be a matter of putting it all together.”

Gerrity, who went to high school in Marin, Calif., will only be about 70 miles away from her hometown when the Hoosiers arrive at Stanford. She said she is excited to be able to see family and friends again, and the team will be dining at her house Friday night.

After scoring 17 goals last year as a freshman, Gerrity has already scored six goals through IU’s first four games, including a four-score performance in IU’s lone victory versus Colorado State. She plans to continue contributing to her team, starting with defense.

“Anything I can do to contribute to the team is really important,” she said. “I just looked to counter against Colorado State, so that’s where a lot of my games came from. Defense usually leads to offense.”

The venture to California will be IU’s first of three eventual trips out there. Despite the lengthy distance, Beemer believes his team will still be on top of its game.

“We’re pretty much conditioned to do that,” he said. “We travel a lot. We’re on airplanes a lot. It’s almost second nature at this point.”

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