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IU water polo picks up three wins at Indiana Classic


California State University junior center Madasonne Butler attempts to block freshman blocker Tina Doherty March 3 in Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center. IU lost 11-10 against California State. Alex Deryn

IU water polo won three of its five matches to open the 2019 season.

IU tipped off the Indiana Classic on Friday night against Salem University. The Hoosiers were out to a quick start scoring four goals in the first quarter. IU headed in to halftime with a 5-4 lead and never looked back from there, defeating Salem 14-9. 

Late in the match, freshman utility Izzy Mandema had a highlight goal after scoring a spinning, behind-the-back, no-look goal.

Freshman attacker Tina Doherty was dominant in her first game, scoring four goals for the Hoosiers along with teammate and junior attacker Megan Abarta, who contributed four assists.

Following the Hoosiers first game Friday, IU was up early Saturday for another matchup against Mercyhurst University. The Hoosiers were strong on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, taking a seven-goal lead in to the half. 

Freshman utility players Izzy Mandema and Hannah Falls-Hand led the way for the Hoosiers in this match, scoring a combined seven of the team's 13 goals. IU’s impressive performance included seven individuals finding the back of the net in their 13-7 victory.

The Hoosiers dominated Mercyhurst was because of the play on the defensive side of the ball. IU finished the match with 10 steals.

In the second match of the day, IU hosted Wagner College, who proved to be a tough out in the pool. Wagner was out to a quick, three-goal lead, but sophomore driver Juli Hilovsky got IU on the board before the half. 

Tina Doherty added a goal for IU late in the game, but the strong fight from the team in the second half was unable to bring them back in its 11-2 loss. This was the first time in program history that the Hoosiers have lost to Wagner, bringing the all-time series to 17-1.

On the final day of the Indiana Classic, the Hoosiers were set to meet California State University, East Bay for the first match of the day. The Hoosiers were active on both sides of the ball from the start of the match.

Abarta was filling the stat sheet for the Hoosiers with a goal, an assist and two steals in her dominating performance. Mandema also filled the stat sheet with two goals, three assists and two steals.

IU took a convincing five-goal lead in to the half, leading CSU-East Bay 5-0. IU freshman goalkeeper Sarah Greeven produced a shutout in the first half and saved 11 shots total.

IU continued its dominance in the second half, but CSU-East Bay made an attempted comeback late in the match that was stopped short. The Hoosiers defeated the Pioneers 8-6.

In IU's final match of Indiana Classic, it went back and forth with California State University, Northridge. Both teams came out scoring early as the match was tied at three after the first quarter. 

Mandema got the Hoosiers on the board first with one of her three goals in this match. The Hoosiers took a 7-5 lead into the half but were not able to hang on in the second. They lost a tough fought match in their final game of the weekend 11-10.

IU returns to the pool at 7 p.m. March 7 for another home match against Wittenberg University.

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