The No. 14 IU water polo team swept all three of its visiting opponents this weekend at the Hoosier Invite in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
After defeating Mercyhurst University and California Lutheran University by a combined 27 goals Saturday, the Hoosiers beat McKendree University 18-6 Sunday morning.
The 3-0 weekend raises the team’s current win streak to 10 games and every victory came by seven goals or more. The team, now sitting at 13-5, has collected its most consecutive wins since 2017.
The Hoosiers were able to put teams away early this weekend. In all three games, IU scored the first four goals and was able to control the game from the start.
“We talk about attacking on offense, attacking on defense,” IU head coach Taylor Dodson said Sunday. “We want to make sure we are dictating the pace of our play and the pace of our opponent’s play as well.”
During their three games, the Hoosiers outscored their opponents 14-2 in the first period.
Sophomore attacker Tina Doherty played a big role, scoring six of her 12 weekend goals in the first period. She was defensively sound and had a team-high four steals against Cal Lutheran. Dodson said she is pleased with other aspects of Doherty’s game just as much as her offensive firepower.
“Tina’s been a scoring threat since coming out of high school, but she’s improved with taking the right shots,” Dodson said. “She’s a threat when need be, but she’s been passing well and playing good defense.”
As IU extended its substantial leads later into the game, younger players were able to get valuable minutes. With 16 underclassmen on the team compared to seven upperclassmen, Dodson said she expects this experience to help them this season and in future seasons.
“Once we get into more competitive games when we won’t be subbing as loosely, it’s nice to know we’ll still be able get a good couple minutes from different people,” Dodson said.
After playing eight straight unranked teams, IU’s schedule will begin to look more difficult. The Hoosiers will play seven consecutive games against ranked teams, starting with No. 2 University of California, Los Angeles on Saturday and No. 1 University of Southern California on Sunday.
Dodson said her team is eager to take on the dark horse mentality.
“We’re going to scout and prepare,” Dodson said. “The best thing about being an underdog is making life difficult for our opponents, so that’s what we’ll try to do.”