No. 12 Indiana women’s water polo extended its home winning streak to eight games this weekend after a clean sweep at the Indiana Classic. The Hoosiers defeated Saint Francis University, No. 13 Wagner College, No. 11 University of Pacific and Salem University.
“We are taking a lot of pride in playing at home,” head coach Taylor McInerney said after the matches. “We are a team that travels so much to the west coast that when we get to play at home, we make the most of it.”
Indiana’s first game of the invitational was against Saint Francis. The Hoosiers were able to build the lead as they simultaneously kept the Red Flash scoreless in the second period. Indiana entered halftime with a 9-1 lead.
Indiana and Saint Francis scored 4 points apiece in the second half, granting a 13-5 win for the Hoosiers.
Indiana would return to the pool later that day to compete against No. 13 Wagner. As Indiana entered the second period, the two teams were tied with 2 points each. By halftime, the Hoosiers had a 1-point lead over the Seahawks.
With back-to-back goals from freshman attacker Grace Klingler and sophomore attacker Grace Hathaway, Indiana was able to extend its lead to 6-4 in the third period. Yet with two seconds left in the game, Wagner scored a goal that sent the two teams to overtime.
Indiana’s junior defender Kallie White was the star in overtime as she scored both goals in the extra period. Indiana exited the close game with an 8-7 win.
After a good night’s sleep, Indiana returned to the pool Sunday morning to face No. 11 Pacific. When the Hoosiers entered halftime, they led by 1 point. It was after the break that Indiana was able to separate itself from Pacific.
“With our composure and our ability to work together, we were able to pull away because we were just the better team today,” sophomore attacker Skylar Kidd said.
In the second half of the game, Indiana outscored Pacific 4-2. With a final score of 8-5, Indiana earned its second ranked win of the weekend.
In Indiana’s final game of the weekend, 16 different Hoosiers found the net against Salem. The Tigers were unable to close the gap after the Hoosiers ended the first quarter with a 9-1 lead.
Indiana outscored Salem 13-4 in the second half. With every scored point came a celebration from Indiana’s bench.
“We are continuously always wanting to bring the energy, and our bench is really working on cheering on our teammates," Kidd said. “We do a lot of dance moves on the bench, and it really keeps everyone happy.”
Indiana beat Salem 22-5 and will continue play Feb. 24 to Feb. 26 at the UC Irvine Invite.
Follow reporter Marnie Sara (.@marniesara5) for updates throughout the rest of the Indiana water polo season.