No. 10 Indiana water polo couldn’t carry over its offensive rhythm from an opening week sweep at last week’s University of California, Santa Barbara Winter Invite. Indiana finished the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1-3 after losing to No. 3 the University of California, Los Angeles, Long Island University Brooklyn, and No. 5 Hawaii University, but defeating No. 22 Marist College.
The Hoosiers’ weekend got underway at noon Saturday against UCLA in a top-10 matchup to begin the tournament for both squads. UCLA got off to a quick start in the first quarter, scoring three unanswered goals in the span of three minutes. UCLA redshirt senior Maddie Musselman was credited with assists on two of the three goals. The Hoosiers were able to respond with a goal of their own before the first quarter concluded.
Indiana outscored UCLA in the second quarter 3-1 through goals from senior captain center Izzy Mandema, sophomore driver Kallie White and freshman utility Portia Sasser. The teams went into the halftime break tied, 4-4.
The Hoosiers were unable to get anything on the board in the third quarter and were outscored 8-2 in the second half by the Bruins. The Bruins went on to win 12-6, handing the Hoosiers their first loss of the season.
Mandema led Indiana with four goals on ten shots and junior captain utility Zoe Crouch led the way in assists with two. As for UCLA, senior utility Katrina Drake scored three goals on six shots and Musselman posted five total assists.
Indiana got right back to work Saturday evening against LIU Brooklyn. This time around, Indiana got off to a fast start and scored the first three goals of the game. Mandema, White and senior Tina Doherty each got on the scoresheet in that span. Indiana’s lead quickly faded, though, as LIU Brooklyn put two goals in the back of the net within the last 40 seconds of the first quarter.
The Hoosiers were unable to sustain their fast start for the remainder of the game and were outscored 6-12 in the final three quarters en route to a 14-9 defeat.
Mandema and Doherty each had three goals for the Hoosiers against the Sharks. Sophomore attackers Elena Camarena and Paola Dominguez each posted hat tricks for the Sharks, as Camarena netted four total goals.
After a disappointing first day, Indiana took on Hawaii on Sunday afternoon. Another good first quarter start for the Hoosiers, a 3-2 first-quarter lead, was erased, prompting a collapse toward the end of the game. A treacherous second quarter, during which Indiana was outscored 6-2, led to a third-straight defeat with a 15-8 final score.
Mandema’s five-game hat trick streak to start the season came to an end in the defeat to Hawaii. Doherty was still able to find the back of the net, though, and scored four goals to keep Indiana afloat. Redshirt senior Elyse Lemay-Lavoie, sophomore attacker Alba Bonamusa Boix and freshman attacker Paula Prats Rodriguez all tallied hat tricks for the Rainbow Wahine in Sunday’s opening game.
The Hoosiers looked to end their winless streak to begin the tournament against No. 22 Marist. The Red Foxes also came into the final game of the tournament 0-3.
This time the Hoosiers’ strong first quarter start was not to be squandered. They ended the first quarter with a 6-2 lead and replicated that offensive production in the second period, leading 12-4 at the half. The Hoosiers were able to hold on and got back in the win column, beating the Red Foxes 16-8 to end the weekend.
Freshman attacker Skylar Kidd scored five goals for Indiana in the team’s final game, notching a season and career-high for individual goals in a single game.
Despite leaving the Michigan Invitational with at least one win, the Hoosiers couldn’t find success against their highest-ranked opponents. Indiana holds a 5-3 record through the first two weeks of the season.
The Hoosiers will have two weeks off from competitive play before returning on Feb. 19 for the Fresno State Invite in Fresno, California.