Feb. 12, 2014
BISON INVITATIONAL (Tournament Central)
Saturday, Feb. 15 -- vs. No. 13 UC San Diego (Lewisburg, Pa.), 1 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15 -- vs. No. 20 Wagner (Lewisburg, Pa.), 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 -- vs. No. 20 Hartwick (Lewisburg, Pa.), 9:15 a.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 -- vs. No. 8 Princeton (Lewisburg, Pa.), 2:15 p.m.
The University of Michigan water polo team (1-6) will return to action this weekend, heading east to participate in the Bison Invitational in Lewisburg, Pa. On Saturday (Feb. 15), U-M will face No. 13 UC San Diego (6-2) at 1 p.m. and No. 20 Wagner (3-4) at 8:30 p.m. before wrapping the tournament appearance on Sunday (Feb. 16) against No. 20 Hartwick (4-5) at 9:15 a.m. and No. 8 Princeton (3-0) at 2:15 p.m.
Hosted by Bucknell University, all tournament games will be held at Kinney Natatorium, which will also serve as the host pool for the CWPA Championships in April.
Nine of Michigan's first 11 games will be against top-20 opposition. After the weekend, U-M will have faced the No. 3, No. 4, No. 8, No. 12, No. 13, No. 15, No. 17 and No. 20 nationally ranked teams.
Four Wolverine freshmen have already registered their first collegiate goals this season. Allison Skaggs headlines the group with six goals, while Jamie Nolan, Heidi Moreland and Brittany Kirwan also scored in the opening two weekends.
Sophomore Ali Thomason recorded her second career hat trick in U-M's narrow loss at Santa Clara (Jan. 31). She is one of three Wolverines with a hat trick this season. Seniors Audrey Pratt and Kelsey Nolan also own one a piece; Pratt has seven career hat tricks, while Nolan boasts nine.
Sophomore Presley Pender recorded 11 assists over the Wolverines' California trip, upping her season total to a team-leading 13. Pender also led Michigan last season with 35 -- the third-best assist tally for a U-M rookie in program history. Michigan's season assist record is 50, set by Alison Mantel in 2010.
With 24 saves on the season, including 21 in two appearances on the California trip, sophomore goalkeeper Julia Campbell has already nearly matched her save total from a season ago. She posted 12 saves against UCLA (Feb. 1) and nine against California (Feb. 2) -- both surpassing her previous career-best seven, which she tallied last season against Gannon.
Senior Audrey Pratt played in her 100th career game in the Wolverines' Stanford Invitational slate against California (Feb. 2). She now has 101 appearances in her tenure at Michigan. Only senior Kelsey Nolan has more with 113.
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.
Freshman Allison Skaggs was named the first CWPA Western Division Rookie Player of the Week of the season 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.
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
UC San Diego -- The Tritons are 6-2 on the season after splitting four games at their home Triton Invitational last weekend (Feb. 8-9), defeating Marist (16-9) and Santa Clara (11-7) while falling to Loyola Marymount (7-6) and Long Beach State (9-7). Sarah Lizotte leads UCSD with 22 goals, while Courtney Miller leads the goalie contingent with 62 saves. Michigan leads the all-time series against UC San Diego, 12-6, and has won each of the last eight meetings, including an 11-7 decision in the most-recent head-to-head in 2011.
Wagner -- The Seahawks enter the weekend with a 3-4 record after halting their four-game losing streak with back-to-back wins over George Washington (20-9) and Harvard (11-8) at the Princeton Invitational last weekend (Feb. 8-9). Jessica Burdge leads Wagner with 18 goals, while goalkeeper Emily Riddle owns 53 saves. Michigan boasts a perfect 5-0 series advantage against Wagner, earning a 12-6 victory in the most-recent meeting in 2008.
Hartwick -- The Hawks enter the weekend with a 4-5 season record after splitting four games at the Triton Invitational last weekend (Feb. 8-9), opening the tournament with losses against Arizona State (13-4) and San Diego State (15-7) before defeating Sonoma State (16-9) and Marist (10-3). Jemma Dendy Young leads Hartwick with 10 goals, while goalkeeper Michaela Davies owns 31 saves in net. Michigan leads the all-time series against division rival Hartwick, 15-5, but lost last season's only meeting, 10-6.
Princeton -- The Tigers own a perfect 3-0 record on the after opening their season with wins over Wagner (9-4), Iona (11-4) and VMI (17-4) in their own home tournament last weekend (Feb. 8-9). Ashley Hatcher leads the Princeton team with eight goals, while goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson owns 44 saves. Michigan owns a 16-4 advantage in the all-time series against Princeton, which snapped an eight-game U-M series win streak with a 7-5 decision in last season's Eastern Championship final.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines faced four nationally ranked opponents over their five-game California road trip two weeks ago (Jan. 31-Feb. 2). U-M took eighth place at the Stanford Invitational after falling to No. 17 UC Davis, 9-5, in its final contest of the tournament. Michigan also fell to No. 3 UCLA, No. 12 San Jose State and No. 4 California at the tournament.
[ Recaps: Santa Clara | Stanford Invite 1 | Stanford Invite 2 ]
Saturday, Feb. 22 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.