After another weekend without competition, IU water polo returned to its home pool at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatics Center for another two-game set against Michigan this season.
The first time these teams competed this season was Feb. 20-21 at the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor. Michigan took both matches 5-8 and 6-11.
This weekend, the Hoosiers faced the Wolverines in Bloomington. IU was unsuccessful in the first match on Saturday, losing 11-13, though it had the lead going into the fourth period. The second match ended 3-10 Sunday.
Head coach Taylor Dodson still found some positives after a rough weekend of play.
“We’re frustrated. We’re disappointed, but there are a lot of really good things that are coming out of these games,” Dodson said. “We’re trying to play our best in April, and all of these games are necessary steps along the way.”
IU’s record against Michigan moves to 0-4 on the season and trails 53-21-2 in the overall series.
IU led 10-8 going into the final period of the first matchup but ultimately fell short. Dodson said the collapse was a product of lack of aggression.
“I didn’t think we were as aggressive enough on offense as we could have been,” Dodson said. “We play our best when we’re attacking on defense, and that was a struggle for us.”
Second half play was a constant struggle for IU, as the team was outscored 4-13 compared to its first half production, which was even for both teams at 10 goals each.
IU’s production on the power play was a positive for the team. Out of the 14 goals that IU scored over the weekend, half of them were scored during this period of play.
Dodson said this was an area of improvement for the team.
“That’s a segment of the game that was a lot better on offense and on defense was our 6 on 5,” Dodson said.
The Hoosiers now begin their preparation for No. 3 Stanford as conference play opens for IU. Dodson said she is aware of the prestige Stanford holds but is excited for the challenge.
“We get to make our mark for them on who we are and what they can expect from IU in the future,” Dodson said. “We get to showcase, basically, the new IU and who we are now.”
IU will compete against Stanford at 4 p.m. March 20 and 1 p.m. March 21 at the Avery Aquatic Center in Stanford, California.