IU water polo faced off against the No. 1 University of Southern California on Friday and Saturday at home in the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatics Center, the team’s matches at home since March 14.
The Hoosiers lost both matches to the Trojans with a score of 8-10 in the first and 10-19 in the second. The losses moved IU’s losing streak to eight.
A major factor in both matches was USC’s ability to take over at any given moment. In the first match, USC was able to pull away by outscoring the Hoosiers 5-1 in the second period. In the second match, USC made 10 goals to IU’s two in the second half.
IU water polo head coach Taylor Dodson applauded the team’s fight after the second match Saturday.
“I’m really proud of them. They fight so hard,” Dodson said. “They really want to get better.”
Defense kept the matches competitive as IU tied its lowest margin of defeat of the season in the first match against USC, losing by two goals.
IU’s offense found more success compared to recent showings. Its 10 goals in the second match are the most the Hoosiers have scored since March 13.
“I think that we played our best games offensively,” Dodson said. “Two years ago it was a completely different story. It’s a little bit of validation that we’re doing things right.”
Dodson acknowledged sophomore attacker Lanna Debow and freshman driver Kallie White after the matches. Debow contributed as a scorer with four goals on the weekend, and White made her mark in multiple areas with two goals, a steal and one assist.
“Lanna has been a huge surprise for us throughout the program but has also grown so much this year as a player. She’s so coachable, and she's fearless,” Dodson said. “Kallie did really well with her defensive matchups.”
IU is set to face off against No. 3 University of California at Los Angeles at 5 p.m. on April 12 in Bloomington. This will be IU’s final set of home matches this season.
Dodson said she is excited for what is to come for her team.
“We talk about peaking in April. That’s the time that we want to be playing our best,” Dodson said. “We’re further away from our ceiling than every other team and that’s really exciting.”