Wolverines to Open Season with Four Games in Michigan Kick-Off
Kiki Golden

Jan. 18, 2012

Tournament Central | Weekend Preview | Alex Adamson on WTKA

• Saturday Live Blogs: No. 10 Indiana (Noon) | Colorado State (7:30 p.m.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan water polo team will begin the 2012 season at home in the seventh annual Michigan Kick-Off. The four-team event will be held Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 21-22) at Canham Natatorium.

On the first day, the Wolverines will face rival No. 10-ranked Indiana in non-conference play at noon before matching up against Colorado State at 7:30 p.m. To close out the Kick-Off on Sunday, U-M will meet No. 3-ranked UCLA at 10:15 a.m. with a second match-up against Colorado State to follow at 2 p.m.

"The first tournament will give us an opportunity to play two top-10 teams and a team that is tied for 21st," said head coach Matt Anderson. "Against Indiana, I think it's great that we play one of our biggest games to start the season; however, it's an opportunity to get to know who we are before meeting them later this year in conference play."

Saturday, Jan. 21
Game 1 -- Colorado State vs. #3 UCLA, 10:30 a.m.
Game 2 -- #12 Michigan vs. #10 Indiana, Noon
Game 3 -- #10 Indiana vs. #3 UCLA, 6 p.m.
Game 4 -- #12 Michigan vs. Colorado State, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 22
Game 5 -- Colorado State vs. #10 Indiana, 9 a.m.
Game 6 -- #12 Michigan vs. #3 UCLA, 10:15 a.m.
Game 7 -- #12 Michigan vs. Colorado State, 2 p.m.

   Series: U-M trails 0-8
   Last Meeting:
L, 6-5 (1/23/11 - Ann Arbor, Mich.)
   Series: U-M leads 10-0
   Last Meeting:
W, 15-12 (2/27/11 - Fort Collins, Colo.)
   Series: U-M leads 30-7-1
   Last Meeting:
L, 5-3 (5/1/11 - Bloomington, Ind.)

The University of Michigan water polo team will enter the 2012 season with youth and experience. The Wolverines finished the 2011 campaign ranked 10th after finishing 32-5, falling short of an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship. U-M opens the 2012 slate ranked 12th in the national poll.

The Wolverines return 17 players from last year's roster after losing seven, including ACWPC All-Americans Alison Mantel and Lauren Orth. The Maize and Blue's depth chart features four seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and seven freshmen.

This year's gap is filled with seasoned veterans who include a trio of goalkeepers -- seniors Morgan Turner (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills), who was 8-2 a year ago, and Tara Brigham (Baytown, Texas/Sterling), 2-0, with junior Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado), 22-3, who is coming off a season that was spotlighted with career highs in wins, saves (160) and steals (16).

The Wolverines' offensive strength will be powered by ACWPC honorable mention All-American Kiki Golden (Danville Calif./Monte Vista), Lauren Colton (Tustin, Calif./Tesoro), Meagan Cobb (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and Claire Ivry (Orinda, Calif./Miramonte). Golden finished third on the squad with 70 points (39 goals, 31 assists), was second in assists (31), and led the team in hat tricks (6). Colton followed with five hat tricks and 64 points, while Cobb finished with 48 points. Ivry returns as one of the Wolverines' top drivers on offense. Defensively, the Wolverines will look to Hathaway Moore (Atherton, Calif./Saint Francis) and Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland).

Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423