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IU water polo drops three of four games at UCSB Invite



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Then-sophomore attacker Joelle Nacouzi defends against Marist on Sunday, March 4.  Matt Begala

IU water polo began its season with an 8-7 win against the University of California, San Diego, before falling in three consecutive matches at the 2019 University of California, Santa Barbara Winter Invite. 

After scoring three times in the opening quarter, the Hoosiers tacked on two more goals in the second, earning a 5-4 lead. The strong start was fueled in the second half, as IU put up three more goals, giving the Hoosiers their first victory of the 2019 campaign. 

Junior attacker Megan Abarta provided the team with a huge spark on both sides of the ball. She tallied three assists and a number of blocks on defense. 

The Hoosiers also received quality performances from freshman utility Izzy Mandema. Mandema scored scored five of the team's eight points.

IU didn’t have the same electric start in its second match. The Hoosiers dug themselves a hole early in the first half against University of California, Santa Barbara, and were never able to string anything together for a possible comeback. 

Freshman utility Hannah Falls-Hand had a strong showing in the 15-5 loss, with three goals to her name. 

Freshman goalkeeper Mary Askew got some experience in net, forcing a few turnovers, grabbing a pair of steals and knocking down a few shots on goal. 

Junior captain Emily Powell also appeared on the stat sheet, adding a goal and an assist to start her season.

Early Sunday morning against California State University, Fresno, the Hoosiers were out to a hot start in the first half, but the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half. 

This was the only unranked opponent IU faced over the weekend at the UCSB invite. Once the Bulldogs got ahead in this match they never looked back, winning 12-7. 

In the final game of a long weekend, the Hoosiers mustered one goal against defending national champion University of Southern California. The Trojans took control from the start and dominated en route an 11-1 rout of the Hoosiers.

IU, 1-3, continue its California tilt Feb. 2 for the Stanford Invitational, where it will take on the University of California, Berkley, Stanford University, University of California, Davis and the Chinese women's national team. 

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