April 2, 2014
Water Polo 101: Goalkeeping (YouTube)
Saturday, April 5 -- at CSU East Bay (Hayward, Calif.), noon PDT
Sunday, April 6 -- at Sonoma State (Rohnert Park, Calif.), noon PDT
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The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (15-11, 2-3 CWPA West) will head west for its final regular-season road trip, traveling to California for a pair of non-conference games. On Saturday (April 5), U-M will face CSU East Bay (13-10) at noon PDT in Hayward, Calif., before wrapping the road swing with a noon game against Sonoma State (6-16) on Sunday (April 6) in Rohnert Park, Calif.
Indiana halted the Wolverines' winning streak at 12 games with a 7-4 decision last Saturday (March 29). It was the program's longest win streak since claiming 22 in a row late in the 2011 season.
Sophomore Presley Pender extended her goal-scoring streak to four straight games. She has scored in 12 of the last 13 games, including multiple goals in nine. She boasted a career-best four goals vs. Siena at the Wolverine Invitational.
Pender boasts a team-leading 32 assists this season, averaging 1.23 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.
With a team-leading 38 goals on the season, senior Kelsey Nolan is just one goal shy of her career best in the category (39, which she recorded as a sophomore in 2012). A two-time All-CWPA Western Division selection, Nolan has ranked among U-M's leading scorers in each of her collegiate seasons. She boasts 125 goals in her collegiate career. Nolan has scored at least one goal in all but five games this season.
Junior Danielle Robinson ranks second on the team with a career-best 23 assists -- already more than triple her season total last year (7). With eight goals, Robinson is has also surpassed her tally from a season ago (7).
Four Michigan players have averaged more than a goal per game this season. Senior Kelsey Nolan leads the Wolverines with 38 tallies, while sophomore Presley Pender owns 35, sophomore Ali Thomason has 28 and freshman Allison Skaggs has 26. All three Wolverines have appeared in all 26 games this season.
All seven freshmen field players have registered their first collegiate goals this season. Allison Skaggs headlines the group with 26 goals, while Jamie Nolan, Heidi Moreland, Brittany Kirwan, Kaitlyn Cozens, Allison Larko and Kimberly Graziano also own at least one tally. While still missing a goal, goalkeeper Emily Browning boasts 15 assists.
Freshman Emily Browning posted a career-best 16 saves against Indiana (March 29). It marked the second double-digit save effort of her career. Her previous career best was 12, which she tallied two weeks earlier against Pacific.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
CSU East Bay -- The Pioneers carry a 13-10 record into the weekend and have claimed their last four contests, including wins over CSU San Bernardino (16-6) and La Verne (16-9) in their most recent appearance two weeks ago (March 23). Sara Hudym leads CSU East Bay with 64 goals, while Taylor Cross, Ka'iliponi McGee and Allison Zell all boast more than 20 markers. Marrina Nation has earned the bulk of time in goal, earning a 9.10 goals-against average. Michigan owns a perfect 2-0 record in the all-time series against CSU East Bay, earning a 15-12 decision in last season's meeting.
Sonoma State -- The Seawolves are 6-16 on the season after snapping four-game skid with a win over CSU Monterey Bay (9-7) in their most-recent outing last Friday (March 28). Alexa May and Noelle Herrera share Sonoma State's team lead for goals with 16 apiece, while goalkeeper Kim Covert owns a 11.75 goals-against average. Michigan claimed the only previous meeting between the programs, defeating Sonoma State, 12-2, during the 2009 season.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines dropped a close 7-4 decision to rival Indiana last Saturday (March 29), striking first but failing to maintain their early advantage. U-M was largely doomed by penalty shots as IU converted on three five-meter penalties, including two in the second quarter to pull away. Kelsey Nolan, Audrey Pratt, Barbara Lanier and Presley Pender scored for Michigan, while goalkeeper Emily Browning recorded a career-best 16 saves in net. [ Full Recap ]
Saturday, April 12 -- vs. Hartwick (Canham Natatorium), 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 13 -- vs. Gannon (Canham Natatorium), 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, April 13 -- vs. Notre Dame College (Canham Natatorium), 3 p.m.