No. 14 Indiana water polo initiated the regular season with an away game against No. 3 University of California, Los Angeles. After the meet against UCLA, the Hoosiers traveled to Santa Barbara, California to compete in the University of California, Santa Barbara Winter Invite and finished the weekend 2-2, 0-1.
In the first matchup against UCLA, the Hoosiers were able to stay within one point of the Bruins, trailing 3-2 in the first quarter with goals from senior defender Lanna Debow and senior utility Zoe Crouch. Indiana was outscored 2-0 in the second quarter and the Bruins entered halftime with a 5-3 lead.
It was during the third quarter that Indiana lost control of the game and UCLA went on a 7-2 run. Despite sophomore center Sophie Sollie and freshman utility Megan Holcomb each scoring a goal in the third quarter, UCLA still led the game 12-5.
Graduate student goalie Mary Askew put forth a valiant effort in the matchup with nine saves and a team-high three steals. UCLA would go on to win the season opener against Indiana with a score of 15-6.
After the Friday evening match against UCLA, Indiana traveled to Santa Barbara, California where they participated in the USCB Winter Invite. Indiana’s first opponent in the invitational was No. 11 University of California, San Diego.
After the first half, Indiana held a 5-3 lead against UCSD. The Hoosiers extended their lead in the third period when sophomore attacker Skylar Kidd scored back-to-back goals, granting the Hoosiers an 8-3 advantage.
The Tritons assembled a response and came within one score late in the third quarter. However, goals by Crouch and senior center Robyn Greenslade late in the half gave Indiana a 2-goal lead that they would sustain until the end of the game. Indiana would win their first game of the season 12-10.
Later that day, Indiana squared up against No. 19 University of California, Santa Barbara. The Hoosiers scored four times in the first period and led the game 4-2. In the second quarter, the Gauchos began to control the tempo of the game and took a 7-5 lead going into halftime.
By the end of the third period, UCSB was ahead by four points, forcing Indiana to have a miraculous fourth quarter performance to steal the game. Indiana was able to come up with two additional goals in the final quarter, but the Hoosiers could not stop the Gauchos from winning the game 13-10.
Indiana’s final match-up of the weekend was against California State University, Fullerton. The Hoosier’s had an early 2-0 advantage over the Sea Otters with goals from Sollie and sophomore attacker Grace Hathaway. With 6 minutes 17 seconds left in the second period, Indiana had already dug CSUF into a hole, leading 7-2.
The second half was controlled by Indiana as they outscored CSUF 10-2. Indiana won their final game of the weekend 19-5.
The Hoosiers went 2-2 over the weekend and now have an overall record of 2-2, 0-1 in conference play.
Indiana will return to Bloomington next weekend to host the Hoosier Invitational from Jan. 28-29 in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
Follow reporter Marnie Sara (.@marniesara5) for updates throughout the rest of the Indiana water polo season.