Feb. 26, 2014
CAL LUTHERAN INVITATIONAL (Tournament Central)
Friday, Feb. 28 -- vs. UC Santa Barbara (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 10:30 a.m. PST
Friday, Feb. 28 -- vs. Azusa Pacific (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 3:30 p.m. PST
Saturday, March 1 -- vs. Whittier (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 1 p.m. PST
Saturday, March 1 -- vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 2:15 p.m. PST
The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (3-10) will head back to the West Coast this weekend for a four-game slate at the Cal Lutheran Invitational in Thousand Oaks, Calif. On Friday (Feb. 28), U-M will face No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (10:30 a.m. PST) and Azusa Pacific (3:30 p.m.) before wrapping up with Saturday (March 1) games against Whittier (1 p.m.) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2:15 p.m.). All Wolverines games will be played at the Samuelson Aquatics Center. CMS and Whittier are ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the latest Division III polls.
Ten of Michigan's first 13 games have been against top-20 opposition. After the weekend, U-M will have faced the No. 3, No. 6, No. 4, No. 8, No. 9, No. 12, No. 15, No. 17 and No. 20 (twice) nationally ranked teams.
Freshman goalkeeper Emily Browning was named the CWPA Western Division Rookie Player of the Week after posting 17 saves through two complete-game performances at the Fluid Four last Saturday (Feb. 22). Browning is the second player to garner rookie weekly accolades; freshman Allison Skaggs earned the first CWPA honor of the 2014 season.
Senior Kelsey Nolan boasts a five-game scoring streak, tallying eight goals over the stretch. Nolan has scored at least one goal in 11 of the Wolverines' 13 games this season.
Freshman Kaitlyn Cozens netted her first collegiate goal in the fourth quarter against rival Indiana at the Fluid Four, while freshman Kimberly Graziano posted her first collegiate assist -- and her first point -- also in the fourth quarter against the Hoosiers.
Three Michigan players have already hit double-digit goals this season. Senior Kelsey Nolan leads the Wolverines with 20 tallies, while sophomore Ali Thomason boasts 14, and sophomore Presley Pender owns 10. All three Wolverines have appeared in all 13 games this season.
Five Wolverine freshmen have already registered their first collegiate goals this season. Allison Skaggs headlines the group with nine goals, while Jamie Nolan, Heidi Moreland, Brittany Kirwan and Kaitlyn Cozens also own at least one tally.
Every Wolverine freshman owns at least one point already this season. While still missing their first collegiate goals, three rookies have posted assists -- Allison Larko (3), Emily Browning (5) and Kimberly Graziano (1).
Sophomore Presley Pender boasts a team-leading 18 assists this season, averaging 1.38 assists per game. 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.
Junior Danielle Robinson ranks second on the team with a career-best 12 assists -- already five more than her season total last year. With five goals, Robinson is also just two shy of matching her tally from a season ago.
Senior Kelsey Nolan surpassed 100 career goals with a five-goal effort at the Bison Invitational (Feb. 15-16) and added three goals last weekend to up her four-year total to 107. A two-time All-CWPA Western Division selection, Nolan has ranked among U-M's leading scorers in each of her collegiate seasons.
Sophomore Gabriella Serure made her season debut at the Fluid Four (Feb. 22), tallying an assist in the fourth quarter against Indiana.
Sophomore Ali Thomason recorded her second hat trick of the season and third of her career in U-M's win against Wagner (Feb. 15). She is one of four Wolverines with a hat trick this season. Like Thomason, senior Kelsey Nolan boasts two this season; while senior Audrey Pratt and sophomore Barbara Lanier own one apiece.
Sophomore Barbara Lanier recorded a career-best five goals -- three in the fourth quarter -- against UC San Diego in the Bison Invitational opener (Feb. 15). Lanier recorded four hat tricks as a freshman last season. Her previous best was four goals, which she tallied against Washington & Jefferson.
With 29 saves on the season, including 21 in two appearances on the California trip, sophomore goalkeeper Julia Campbell has already surpassed her save total from a season ago (28). 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 has since upped her appearances to 107 in her tenure at Michigan. Only senior Kelsey Nolan has more with 119.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
UC Santa Barbara -- The Gauchos enter the weekend with a 5-10 record after posting a 1-3 record at the UCI Invitational last weekend, falling to Loyola Marymount (8-4) and Hawaii (10-7) in latest games. Michigan is 1-7 in the all-time series against UCSB but claimed the most-recent meeting -- an 11-10 decision in 2011.
Azusa Pacific -- The Cougars are 5-6 on the season after splitting four games at the Lancer Invitational in their latest outing two weeks ago. On the final day of the tournament, Azusa Pacific defeated Occidental, 10-2, before falling to defending NCAA champion USC, 19-2. This weekend will mark the first series meeting between Michigan and Azusa Pacific.
Whittier -- The Poets carry a 5-2 season record but dropped their most-recent outing to Cal Baptist, 15-5 (Feb. 15). Among its early wins, Whittier defeated Azusa Pacific, 12-10. This weekend will mark the first series meeting between Michigan and Whittier.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps -- The Athenas are 0-5 on the season. Among their early losses, they fell to Cal Baptist (13-8, Feb. 1) and Hawaii (18-6, Feb. 20) in their latest appearances. This weekend will mark the first series meeting between Michigan and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines split their games at last weekend's Fluid Four tournament (Feb. 22), defeating No. 19 Cal Baptist, 7-6, before falling to No. 15 rival Indiana, 12-5. Michigan benefited from an early lead against Cal Baptist, carrying a one-goal lead out of the first quarter, while the Hoosiers did the same in the nightcap, jumping out to an early 4-1 advantage. Senior Kelsey Nolan scored three goals, including two against CBU, while freshman goalkeeper Emily Browning posted 17 saves in two complete-game efforts. [ Full Recap ]
Sat-Sun., March 8-9 -- at Harvard Invitational (Cambridge, Mass.)