March 5, 2013
Wednesday, March 6 -- at No. 8 Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), 6 p.m. HST
The No. 18-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (4-9) will spend the week in Honolulu, Hawaii, for its spring break training trip and face No. 8 Hawaii (6-5) at 6 p.m. HST on Wednesday (March 6) at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex.
The Wolverines trail in the all-time series against Hawaii, 10-2, but have claimed two of the last three meetings. Michigan used a late goal to take last season's meeting, 9-8, at the UC Irvine Invitational. Four of the last five meetings between U-M and Hawaii were decided by just one goal.
Michigan's 21 goals against Washington & Jefferson marked its greatest output since scoring 21 against Gannon at the 2007 CWPA Western Division Championship. U-M also scored 23 a day earlier against Penn State Behrend.
Twenty different Wolverines have scored goals this year. With the exception of the goalies and two injured players, every player on U-M's roster has scored at least one goal this season.
Three Michigan players registered hat tricks at the Fluid Four. Freshman Barbara Lanier tallied four markers against Washington & Jefferson, while junior Audrey Pratt and freshman Bryce Beckwith posted three apiece in each game. The Wolverines boast 11 hat tricks on the season. Senior Kiki Golden leads the team with three, while Beckwith boasts two.
Junior Audrey Pratt and freshman Barbara Lanier netted CWPA Western Division weekly accolades last week in recognition of their Fluid Four performances. Pratt garnered Player of the Week honors, while Lanier was named Rookie Player of the Week. It was the first weekly honor for both Wolverines.
Senior Kiki Golden and freshman Presley Pender have both surpassed 20 points already this season. Golden leads the team in goals and points with 23-5-28 totals, while Pender boasts a team-leading 15 assists as part of her 11-15-26 output.
Michigan faced ranked opponents in nine of its first 12 games, including seven games against top-10 teams. U-M has faced the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7, No. 8 (twice), No. 10, No. 11 and No. 16 nationally ranked teams.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Elizabeth Williams|
Q: How is the Hawaii training trip going? Does spring break provide a good mental break?
A: It has been very enjoyable. We are trying to incorporate fun activities that give us a unique workout. We're doing beach workouts, hiking and just a variety of different things. Everything feels better when you're on the beach and enjoy some nice weather. We're doing a lot of team activities too, making dinner for each other and just bonding. It's great to be able to relax and not have to think about school for a little bit. We're using this time to work on joining our team a little better and working on the things we need to work on before the end of the season.
Q: I hear all the time that road trips really allow for team bonding. Is this an exaggerated opportunity for that, and how does that translate to communication and performance in the water?
A: I definitely agree with that. On the road, we obviously do more bonding activities together, because there's no else around except for our team and coaches. I think it's magnified when we're in an isolated place like right now in Hawaii. We only have each other to work off of and enjoy. We need to be able to come together. If we can interact well socially, we're going to communicate just as well in the pool.
Q: How do you feel like you've progressed since your freshman season?
A: I have definitely tried to step up more offensively. Last year I feel like I was a little timid as a freshman. I feel like I'm contributing more now. I'm more confident, and I think part of that is team chemistry and feeling more comfortable in the water.
Q: With so many freshmen on the team, have you tried to step up and take a bigger leadership role?
A: I think I have stepped up as a leader, but I also think that some of our freshmen have done the same. Since there's so many of them, they all have a part to play on our team. Several of them have communicated well and communicated their roles. They're doing a good job.
Q: Sitting around the midpoint in the season, do you feel like this team is building for the second half?
A: I think we're clicking more. We've noticed that here in Hawaii -- just the potential that we have. If we can communicate with each other, we'll be able to perform at the level we know we're capable of. Our chemistry is great, and I think that will continue to play a big role in our success. We have a lot to look forward to and a lot that we want to accomplish. We're not going to back down. We're only going up from here.
LAST TIME OUT
Michigan split its games at the Fluid Four (Feb. 23), falling to 10th-ranked Long Beach State, 11-8, before rolling past Washington & Jefferson, 21-1, in the nightcap. Fifteen different Wolverine players scored goals on the day, including 13 in the evening contest. Freshman Barbara Lanier headlined the offensive efforts with a career-best four goals against the Presidents, while junior Audrey Pratt and freshman Bryce Beckwith posted hat tricks against LBSU and W&J, respectively. Senior goalkeeper Alex Adamson registered six saves against the 49ers, while freshmen Hayden Green and Nikki Baron combined for six saves against the Presidents. [ Full Recap ]
Friday, March 15 -- vs. Gannon (Canham Natatorium), 6 p.m.
Friday, March 15 -- vs. Salem International (Canham Natatorium), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 16 -- vs. Notre Dame (Canham Natatorium), 10 a.m.
Sat-Sun., March 16-17 -- host Wolverine Invitational (Canham Natatorium)