Jan. 22, 2013
Friday, Jan. 25 -- at Stanford (Palo Alto, Calif.), 2 p.m. PST
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- at San Jose State (San Jose, Calif.), Noon PST
Saturday, Jan. 26 -- at California (Berkeley, Calif.), 6 p.m. PST
The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (1-3) will head west this weekend, traveling to the Golden State for three road games against top-10 opposition. On Friday (Jan. 25), U-M will kick off the trip against top-ranked and two-time defending NCAA champion Stanford (0-0) at 2 p.m. PST at Avery Aquatic Center in Palo Alto, Calif. The Wolverines will play a pair of games on Saturday (Jan. 26), heading to San Jose, Calif., for a noon PST rematch against No. 9 San Jose State (3-1) at the SJSU Aquatics Center before closing out the trip with a 6 p.m. PST meeting against No. 4 California (1-0) at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif.
The Wolverines will seek their first-ever program win against Stanford (0-9) and California (0-4) this weekend. Michigan is 5-7 all-time against San Jose State; the Spartans claimed this season's first meeting, 9-6, at the Kick-Off on Sunday (Jan. 20).
Six of Michigan's first seven games will be against top-10 opposition. After the weekend, U-M will have faced the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7 (twice) and No. 9 nationally ranked teams.
Fifteen of U-M's 26 players are California natives.
With eight goals over four games at the Michigan Kick-Off, senior Kiki Golden upped her career goal tally to 156 and moved to sixth place among U-M's all-time scoring leaders. She is just two goals shy of the fifth spot, currently held by Lauren Orth (158, 2008-11), and three goals shy of the fourth spot, currently held by Leah Robertson (159, 2007-10).
Golden and senior Lauren Colton both tallied hat tricks in the Wolverines' senior opener against Colorado State. Golden boasts 17 career hat tricks, while Colton owns 12.
Four Wolverine freshman scored goals in their first collegiate tournament. Bryce Beckwith headlined the group with four goals, including two in the season opener vs. Colorado State. Presley Pender scored twice in U-M's final game vs. San Diego State, while Kelly Martin and Julia Riemersma notched one goal apiece.
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
| Bryce Beckwith|
Q: How was your first collegiate tournament?
A: I think playing my first collegiate game was a great experience. I was able to get in the water and do some positive things. There are definitely some things I can improve on -- those were obvious -- so I'm glad to be back at practice working on those things. I'm pretty optimistic about this upcoming weekend.
Q: Playing against so many tough, ranked teams right out of the gate, do you think that sets the bar for the freshmen? Does it give you a sense of how you need to play?
A: If you just go out and play teams that you should easily roll over, that's not very useful. We played hard teams that are ranked higher than us, and we played well. Obviously, we didn't have the finishes we wanted, however, a lot of the younger girls learned a lot about how to play collegiate water polo with and against these older girls.
Q: The freshman class makes up half the team, so the team is relying on you all to contribute immediately. Do you think your class is doing a good job in rising to the challenge?
A: A handful of us got in the water multiple times this weekend, and I think we made a positive impact. Being so new to playing with these older girls is definitely a challenge, but I think it also allows us to create more opportunities in the water.
Q: How exciting was it to score several goals in your first tournament?
A: Oh, it was definitely exciting. It was nice to have my parents here and to let them see the physical results of all the hard work we put in during the offseason. It feels good to get into the water, be able to touch the ball and contribute.
Q: We are headed to your home state of California this weekend. Are you looking forward to a homecoming of sorts?
A: I'm so excited. We're going back to Nor Cal. I'm from Nor Cal and get a chance to compete against some of my ex-teammates from high school. It will be a lot of fun. I'm expecting lots of family and friends. We're playing great opponents this weekend that will really make every step up even more than we have.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines went 1-3 at the season-opening Michigan Kick-Off last weekend (Jan. 19-20) at Canham Natatorium, defeating Colorado State, 15-9, before dropping its final three games to top-10 opposition -- UCLA (12-3), San Jose State (9-6) and San Diego State (11-10 2OT). Senior Kiki Golden finished the weekend with eight goals, while juniors Kelsey Nolan and Audrey Pratt posted six goals apiece. Senior goalkeeper Alex Adamson tallied 30 saves in net.
[ Recaps: Day 1 | Day 2 ]
Fri-Sun., Feb. 8-10 -- at Triton Invitational (San Diego, Calif.)