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IU water polo falls to top-10 opponents in Arizona


Head Coach Ryan Castle talks to his team March 3 in Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center. Castle discussed plays during halftime. Alex Deryn

IU water polo traveled to Tempe, Arizona this past weekend for two games against a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference opponents. 

IU kicked off its weekend Friday night with a match against No. 8 Arizona State University, falling 10-5 in a well fought match. Following its first match, IU played No. 3 University of California, Los Angeles on Saturday and lost another tough match, 16-2.

This was the first time in almost a month that IU had seen any MPSF opponents. IU came out with its great defensive attack against Arizona State on Friday, only allowing two goals in the first half. IU headed into halftime only down 2-1 after a phenomenal half of play in net by freshman goalkeeper Mary Askew.

Freshman attacker Tina Doherty had another 11 shots on goal for the Hoosiers which led the team. Doherty added two goals and three steals throughout the game as well.

Freshman utility Izzy Mandema added two more goals and sophomore driver Juli Hilovsky also tallied a goal for the Hoosiers.

Arizona State came out in the second half and found a way to get the offensive attack going after a defense-filled first half. The Hoosiers couldn’t catch the Sun Devils in the second half, dropping a close conference game 10-5.

IU returned to action on Saturday afternoon for a match against No. 3 UCLA. 

The Hoosiers went down early after the Bruins netted five goals in the first quarter. Doherty once again led the IU attack, scoring the first goal for the team. Heading into halftime, the deficit for the Hoosiers was just six goals after junior attacker Emily Powell found the back of the net before time expired.

UCLA came back in the second half scoring another eight goals while holding IU to zero. Roster depth seemed to benefit the Bruins in this match as they nearly doubled the size of the Hoosiers' roster. IU fought hard in the match despite the amount of minutes in the pool – especially Askew, who started both games in net over the weekend.

The MPSF has tested the young Hoosier team in their first season in the conference. IU, however, has shown it can compete with the best of the best.

IU falls to 5-12 on the season and returns to the pool at 11 a.m. Mar 23 to take on Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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