Jan. 28, 2014
Friday, Jan. 31 -- at Santa Clara (Santa Clara, Calif.), 3 p.m. PST
STANFORD INVITATIONAL (Tournament Central)
Saturday, Feb. 1 -- vs. No. 3 UCLA (Palo Alto, Calif.), 8:45 a.m. PST
Saturday, Feb. 1 -- vs. No. 12 San Jose State (Palo Alto, Calif.), 4:30 p.m. PST
Sunday, Feb. 2 -- vs. No. 4 California (Palo Alto, Calif.), 9:10 a.m. PST
Sunday, Feb. 2 -- vs. Bracket Play (Palo Alto, Calif.)
The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (1-1) will head west this weekend, traveling to the Golden State for a five-game slate. On Friday (Jan. 31), U-M will kick off the trip against Santa Clara (0-0) at 3 p.m. PST at the Sullivan Aquatic Center in Santa Clara, Calif.
The Wolverines will also face at least three nationally ranked opponents at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 1-2) at the Avery Aquatic Center. U-M opens the tournament against No. 3 UCLA (8-0) at 8:45 a.m. PST on Saturday before playing No. 12 San Jose State (7-2) at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. On Sunday, Michigan faced No. 4 California (6-0) at 9:10 a.m. before closing the day in one of four placement games.
The Wolverines will seek their first-ever program win against UCLA (0-12) and California (0-5) this weekend.
Four of Michigan's first six games will be against top-15 opposition. After the weekend, U-M will have faced the No. 3, No. 4, No. 12 and No. 15 nationally ranked teams.
Sixteen of U-M's 24 players are California natives.
Freshman Allison Skaggs was named the first CWPA Western Division Rookie Player of the Week of the season last week after posting three goals, two assists and four steals over the two-game Michigan Kick-Off (Jan. 18). Skaggs tallied two goals and two assists in her collegiate debut against Iona.
Senior Audrey Pratt headlined the Wolverine offensive effort at Michigan Kick-Off with three goals and three assists. She posted an impressive 17 goals and 13 assists in four career appearances at the Michigan Kick-Off. Her hat trick in the season opener against Iona was the seventh of her career.
With 96 career games played, Pratt is on pace to earn her 100th Michigan appearance this weekend.
Three Wolverine freshmen -- Allison Skaggs, Brittany Kirwan, Jamie Nolan -- posted their first collegiate goals in U-M's season opener against Iona (Jan. 18). Skaggs and fellow freshmen Kaitlyn Cozens, Allison Larko and Emily Browning recorded their first collegiate assists at the Michigan Kick-Off.
Freshman goalkeeper Emily Browning, who became the first rookie goalie to start U-M's season opener since Betsey Armstrong in 2002, registered 15 saves, two assists and a 9.06 goals-against average through 53 minutes of action at the Michigan Kick-Off (Jan. 18).
All three Wolverine goalkeepers has already posted at least one save this season.
Seniors Hathaway Moore, Kelsey Nolan and Audrey Pratt and junior Elizabeth Williams will represent the Wolverines as captains for the 2014 season. Moore will serve as captain for the second straight season.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Santa Clara -- The Broncos will kick off their 2014 campaign against Hawaii on Thursday (Jan. 30) before facing the Wolverines. Santa Clara posted a 16-17 record last season, closing out the year with a third-place finish in the WWPA Conference Tournament. The Broncos return four of their five leading scorers from a season ago, including Julia Peters, who led the team with 50 goals. June Afshar is their top returning goalkeepers; she posted 47 saves and 57 goals against through 11 games in 2013. Michigan holds a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series against Santa Clara, earning an 11-6 decision in the most-recent meeting in 2013.
UCLA -- The Bruins enter the weekend with a perfect 8-0 record after sweeping the UCSB Winter Invitational last weekend (Jan. 25-26), including wins over host UC Santa Barbara (14-6) and Pacific (11-7) on the final day. Emily Donohoe and Alys Williams lead UCLA with 16 goals apiece, while goalkeeper Sami Hill owns a 3.60 goals-against average and .723 save percentage. Michigan trails in the all-time series against UCLA, 12-0, and fell, 12-3, in the latest meeting at the 2013 Michigan Kick-Off.
San Jose State -- The Spartans are 7-2 on the season after falling to UC Irvine, 11-6, in their latest outing last Saturday (Jan. 25). Clara Espar already boasts 32 goals to lead SJSU, while Maddie Reardon has earned the bulk of time in net, posting a 7.64 goals-against average and .533 save percentage. Michigan narrowly trails in the all-time series against San Jose State, 8-5, after dropping a pair of early meetings last season -- 9-6 at the Kick-Off and 9-4 on the road.
California -- The Golden Bears enter the weekend with an undefeated 6-0 record after knocking off Long Beach State, 13-6, and UC Santa Barbara, 14-4, at last weekend's UCSB Invitational (Jan. 24-25). Dora Antal leads Cal with 25 goals, while goalkeeper Madeline Trabucco owns a 5.50 goals-against average and .600 save percentage. Michigan trails the all-time series against California, 5-0, dropping last season's meeting, 14-7, on the road.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines split their opening-day games at the Michigan Kick-Off (Jan. 18), cruising past Iona, 15-6, before falling to rival Indiana, 10-5. Michigan jumped out to an early lead against the Gaels, posting a four-goal advantage after the first quarter. Senior Audrey Pratt posted a hat trick, while four other Wolverines tallied two goals apiece. The Hoosiers similarly took advantage of an early lead in the nightcap, building a four-goal advantage before halftime. Junior Danielle Robinson led the U-M offense against the Hoosiers with two goals, while freshman goalkeeper tallies 10 saves. [ Full Recap ]
Sat-Sun., Feb. 15-16 -- at Bison Invitational (Lewisburg, Pa.)