IU water polo traveled to Mona Plummer Aquatic Center in Tempe, Arizona, to compete against No. 4 Arizona State University on Saturday.
IU dropped two more conference matches with a score of 2-9 in the first and 6-11 in the second. IU’s conference record moves to 0-4 on the season.
IU water polo head coach Taylor Dodson applauded the team’s ability to progress during the weekend.
“I thought we did a really good job day-to-day of making improvements,” Dodson said after the matches. “We played better than the score indicated.”
IU forced its opponents to shoot an average of .377 percent compared to the team’s matches against No. 2 Stanford University, during which the Cardinal were able to shoot .533 percent.
The Hoosiers also improved against the powerplay. Stanford was able to go 8-15 on the powerplay against IU whereas Arizona State was only able to convert 4-14.
“The girls did a really good job on team defense,” Dodson said.
Junior goalkeeper Mary Askew led the team defensively with 16 saves over the course of the two games. Dodson said she thought her role in these games was key in keeping IU competitive.
“Mary Askew played really well in the cage,” Dodson said. “She made saves this weekend that she hasn’t really made yet this year, and she kept us in the game on some really big saves.”
Inversely, IU’s offense struggled to find consistency. On average, IU shot .151 percent on the weekend, the lowest the team has shot all season.
Dodson said she believes the opportunities were there but were never completely capitalized on.
“We put up a lot of good shots on the cage,” Dodson said. “We’re right there, and it’s inches away from being really competitive in these games.”
IU’s next set of matches will be against No. 1 University of Southern California. USC is undefeated with a record of 10-0 on the season.
Dodson said she is aware of their prestige but is not shying from the opportunity to play against them.
“I think it’s definitely more motivation,” Dodson said. “Our girls are learning to be more fearless and, when you’re playing number 1, you’re already supposed to lose, so we might as well give them everything we have.”
IU’s first match against USC will be at 1 p.m. on April 3 in Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center in Bloomington.