IU will celebrate one of the most decorated classes to ever jump into the pool at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center on Saturday.
The senior class of Jennifer Beadle, Jessica Gaudreault, Kelly Matthews, Sarah Myers, and Sarah Young have combined for 599 goals, 409 assists, 618 steals and 916 saves during their time in Bloomington.
The seniors are also the first class since 2015 to graduate four players who have scored 100 or more goals in their careers. Beadle, Matthews, Myers and Young have all eclipsed the century mark, and IU Coach Ryan Castle spoke about the selflessness of the seniors.
“It starts at the back with a selfless goalkeeper,” Castle said. “She’s really motivated to win, and it feeds out in front of her. Kelly is one of the most selfless two-meter defenders I’ve ever worked with, and then you have three offensive players that help on defense and just feed off each other.”
The seniors have led IU to a 20-5 record this season, but the Hoosiers are just now getting into the meat of their schedule. Six conference games remain, including Saturday’s showdown with No. 9 Michigan.
The Wolverines come into the game holding a record of 22-7 and are currently riding a 15-game winning streak. Castle said the Michigan rivalry is special, the team is looking at the bigger picture of the season.
“Playing Michigan is the rivalry game for us,” Castle said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just one more game in what’s already been a very long schedule. We want to beat them, but we want to beat everyone that we play against.”
The atmosphere inside the CBAC will definitely be special, and the Crabb Band will be a big reason why. This will be the band’s second appearance at a water polo game this season, and their first helped IU to a 7-6 win over No. 14 UC Santa Barbara. Castle is excited to have the band back, and said they helped contribute to a fantastic environment for himself and the team.
IU takes on Michigan at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
“I’d love this place to be loud and hostile,” said Castle. “Everybody in any sport wants to play before a whole bunch of people in a loud stadium, so we’re excited and we could definitely use as much support as possible. I think the whole of Indiana likes to beat Michigan in every sport, so we encourage all the fans to come out and watch.”