Jan. 16, 2013
MICHIGAN KICK-OFF (Tournament Central)
Saturday, Jan. 19 -- vs. Colorado State (Canham Natatorium), 9 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19 -- vs. No. 3 UCLA (Canham Natatorium), 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 20 -- vs. No. 9 San Jose State (Canham Natatorium), 8 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 20 -- vs. No. 7 San Diego State (Canham Natatorium), 12:15 p.m.
The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (0-0) opens the 2012 season with the eighth annual Michigan Kick-Off this weekend at Canham Natatorium. On Saturday (Jan. 19), the Wolverines will face Colorado State at 9 p.m. before matching up against No. 3 UCLA at 7 p.m. On Sunday (Jan. 20), U-M will meet No. 9 San Jose State at 8 a.m., with a second match-up against No. 7 San Diego State at 12:15 p.m.
MICHIGAN KICK-OFF (Tournament Central)
Saturday, Jan. 19
Game 1 -- No. 11 Michigan vs. Colorado State, 9 a.m.
Game 2 -- No. 14 Indiana vs. No. 9 San Jose State, 10:30 a.m.
Game 3 -- No. 7 San Diego State vs. No. 3 UCLA, Noon
Game 4 -- No. 14 Indiana vs. Colorado State, 4 p.m.
Game 5 -- No. 9 San Jose State vs. No. 7 San Diego State, 5:30 p.m.
Game 6 -- No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 3 UCLA, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 20
Game 7 -- No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 9 San Jose State, 8 a.m.
Game 8 -- No. 14 Indiana vs. No. 7 San Diego State, 9:10 a.m.
Game 9 -- Colorado State vs. No. 3 UCLA, 10:20 a.m.
Game 10 -- No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 7 San Diego State, 12:15 p.m.
Game 11 -- Colorado State vs. No. 9 San Jose State, 1:25 p.m.
Game 12 -- No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 14 Indiana, 2:45 p.m.
Michigan owns a 31-16-1 record when hosting the Michigan Kick-Off/Invitational. The Kick-Off, originally tabbed as the Michigan Invitational and renamed in 2006, has been held at Canham Natatorium since 2002. The Wolverines are 15-16-1 against ranked opponents at the tournament and have knocked off a quartet of No. 7-ranked teams.
The friendly confines of Canham Natatorium will play host to the U-M season opener for the 12th straight campaign and will host the CWPA Eastern Championship for the second time. Michigan is 7-5 all-time in home openers and 8-4 in season openers. The Wolverines are 94-25-1 all-time at Canham, including an 8-3 record last season.
The Wolverines captured their 11th consecutive CWPA crown last season when they defeated Hartwick in the 2012 CWPA Western Division Championship. Only men's tennis (16, 1968-83) and women's swimming and diving (12, 1987-98) have enjoyed a better stretch of conference success at Michigan.
Michigan earned the No. 11 ranking in the 2013 Women's Varsity Preseason Top 20 poll and with the No. 2 ranking in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's Top 10 poll, both released Jan. 16. Michigan finished 13th in the final poll of 2012.
For the fifth time in program history and fourth time in five years, Michigan returns multiple players recognized by the AWPCA for their play in the pool. Seniors Lauren Colton and Kiki Golden and junior Kelsey Nolan all earned All-America honorable mention during the 2012 campaign. Golden is a three-time honoree.
Senior Kiki Golden enters the 2013 season with 148 career goals, ranking seventh among U-M's all-time leaders in the category. Golden, who led the Wolverines with 70 goals in 2012, is just 11 goals shy of the fourth spot, currently held by Leah Robertson (159, 2007-10). Shana Welch (2004-07) owns the school record with 297 goals.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Adamson enters 2013 with 433 career saves, ranking third among U-M's leaders in the category. She is 47 saves away from the second spot, held by Brittany May (480, 2008-10). First-year U-M assistant coach Betsey Armstrong (2002-05) owns the school record with 1,267.
Michigan will have 13 rookies on the roster for the 2013 season, tied for the third-largest freshman class in program history. U-M had its largest recruiting class in 2006 with 20 new faces climbing aboard the Maize and Blue water polo machine followed by the 2002 group of 16 newcomers. Michigan graduated four players last season.
The Wolverines also added a second-semester transfer in sophomore Danielle Robinson, who registered among Maryland's scoring leaders with 46 points and 27 steals in her first collegiate season last year. A native of Burnaby, British Columbia, Robinson is a veteran of Canada's junior programs.
Michigan added former Wolverine standout Betsey Armstrong (2002-05) to the coaching staff in August. Armstrong returned to Ann Arbor just a month after backstopping the U.S. Women's Water Polo team to Olympic gold at the London Games, where she posted 53 saves and a .525 save percentage for the tournament.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Kiki Golden|
Q: You are one of three team captains this season. What kind of leader do you want to be?
A: I think I'm a leader by example. I'm always working hard, and I think when everyone is tired, you see one person working hard, it reminds you to get after it. We have a great freshman class. There are so many of them, and they've been doing great. Asking a lot of questions and working hard every day. We try to set the stage for them every day. We have strict discipline for them for the things we do as a team. They've fallen into place very well, fallen right into what we do. I think we bring the intensity every day and show them that this is what practice is like, and this is how you have to be.
Q: What are your goals entering your senior season?
A: I have some individual goals. There's always stuff that I want to personally improve on. But I put the team goals ahead of my own personal goals. I want to be successful this season. I want to go to NCAAs. That's a personal goal and a team goal. The person next to me has to work hard every day, so we can accomplish those goals.
Q: You have such a quick turnaround from the start of the second semester to your first competition. How has the last week of practice been?
A: It's been great. We know that we had preseason. Sometimes you lose sight because you're not playing in games. We're working hard every day. Now the season's here. I'm trying to get better now, because we're playing this weekend. I've heard a lot of girls say to each other to work hard each set because the games are coming. We're in season. The time is now. It definitely creates more intensity every day in practice.
Q: What do you want to see out of the team this weekend?
A: It's interesting every year when you play your first tournament to see exactly how the team performs together. Things are always changing. We haven't played any games together. Everyone's going to go out and try their hardest. As the season moves along, you figure out what's working, what's not working, how this person likes to take a pass, what this person usually does in a game. It's always interesting to see who plays well with whom. Honestly, I think this freshman group is one of the best -- to come in and be so cohesive with us. I'm excited to see how they step up and how we play together as a team.
Q: What is the attitude of the team entering the season? Last year ended on a disappointing note -- not making the NCAA Championship. Does that serve as motivation coming into the season?
A: It's definitely a big disappointment to not make it to NCAAs. My freshman year we made it, and as a freshman, I thought we would just make it every year. Last year, we had such great team chemistry and the talent, we just fell short. It was extremely disappointing. Sometimes it's good to get put in your place. You've got to earn it and work for it. It's not just going to come easily. So, that's our main team goal -- to make it and compete in NCAAs. The freshmen don't know what it takes yet, but they'll learn. The upperclassmen all know what we need to do, and that's what we'll be working for all season.
2012 IN REVIEW
The Wolverines posted a 23-12 record last season, capturing their 11th straight CWPA Western Division title while claiming third place at the CWPA Eastern Championship. Four different players posted more than 30 goals, most notably Kiki Golden, who led the team with 70 goals -- the fifth-highest season total in program history. Alex Adamson headlined the U-M goalkeepers with 15 wins and 129 saves. [ 2012 Statistics ]
Friday, Jan. 25 -- at Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.), 3 p.m. PST
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- at San Jose State (San Jose, Calif.), 11 a.m. PST
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- at California (Berkeley, Calif.), 6 p.m. PST