No. 15 Water Polo Returns Home For Aggie Shootout

Sophomore Carey Faber posted two goals in Sunday's win over Long Beach State.<br>(Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
Sophomore Carey Faber posted two goals in Sunday's win over Long Beach State.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

March 1, 2010

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Saturday, Mar. 6-7 - AGGIE SHOOTOUT
(see below for game-by-game schedule)

at UC Irvine Invitational Saturday, Feb. 27 - vs. California (L, 5-13)
Saturday, Feb. 27 - at UC Irvine (L, 8-9)
Sunday, Feb. 28 - vs. Long Beach State (W, 8-7)
Sunday, Feb. 28 - vs. San Diego State (L, 8-11)

TO RECAP: No. 15 UC Davis (7-9) held its No. 14 seed in the UC Irvine Invitational, edging Long Beach State in Sunday's early game by an 8-7 final, then falling to San Diego State in the 13th-place game... Freshman Jessica Dunn was the Aggies' leading scorer for the tournament, performing her third collegiate hat trick against the host Anteaters on Saturday, then adding two goals in each of the Sunday contests... With 21 goals, Dunn has surpassed fellow freshman Carly Ternasky (19) as the team's top scorer thus far.... With Saturday's setback to UCI, the Aggies have lost to the Anteaters by two goals or less in seven of the last eight matchups... UC Davis hung tough with fourth-ranked California for the first 20 minutes: senior Dana Nelsen scored just under the four-minute mark of the third quarter to pull the Aggies within a 6-4 deficit in that loss.

RANKINGS: The Aggies held No. 15 in the February 24 rankings, and maintained the trend of beating lower-ranked or unranked teams (Long Beach State is unranked), but falling to higher-ranked teams (No. 4 Cal, No. 11 UC Irvine, No. 13 San Diego State)... In fact, the last time UC Davis scored an upset - at least, according to the rankings - was a 7-6 win over San Jose State at the UCI Invite in 2008... The Aggies were 11th, the Spartans 7th at the time.

UP NEXT: After four straight weekends of road tournaments, UC Davis finally competes Schaal Aquatics Center in the form of the two-day Aggie Shootout tournament ... The Aggies bring in former Western Water Polo Association foes Cal State Bakersfield and Sonoma State on Saturday's action, then top-ranked Stanford pays a visit for Sunday's portion... The Aggie Shootout schedule is as follows:

Saturday, March 6
Cal State Bakersfield vs. Sonoma State, 1:30 p.m.
UC Davis vs. Sonoma State, 4 p.m.
UC Davis vs. Cal State Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 7
Stanford vs. Cal State Bakersfield, 11 a.m.
UC Davis vs. Stanford, 2 p.m.

Note: To better accommodate team travel, Saturday's schedule has changed since previous published versions.

CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (7-10) slipped out of the rankings after going 3-3 at its own Roadrunner Invitational I in mid-February... The Roadrunners have been idle for two straight weekends since then... Senior driver Alyson Moss leads CSUB with 19 goals, 20 assists and 29 steals, while Becky Seelos has 19 goals with 29 drawn kickouts... SONOMA STATE (2-11) also took a weekend off from competition after hosting UC Davis at the Seawolf Splash... Senior Laurel Stricklin scored 15 goals in that tournament, including eight against Cal State East Bay, to earn WWPA Player of the Week honors... She has 31 of her team's 81 scores this season... STANFORD (12-1) suffered its first loss of the year in the UCI Invitational title game, falling 10-6 to No. 2 USC... Senior Kelly Eaton led the Cardinal with eight goals in the four games, including five in Saturday's 15-8 win over Arizona State... Sophomore Melissa Seidemann, younger sister of Aggie center Lauren Seidemann, leads Stanford with 23 goals... The Farm's most notable player is senior defender Jessica Steffens, who helped lead the U.S. to gold at the World Championships last August, and was a member of the silver-medalist American team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"I think a big area of improvement, like shooting free throws in basketball, was our 6-on-5 conversion. It was almost 50 percent against four very good teams. You need to be hitting at a high percentage because you'll have so many close games. In the two games against Big West opponents, we were 7-for-14. It might not be 75-80 percent, but it's still pretty good. That was a big plus for us. Then another big plus from the Irvine tournament was that we got to see all of the Big West teams, with the exception of Pacific. On any given day, any team can beat anyone else. Every game will be a dogfight."

"We want to keep improving in those areas that need improvement. It still takes us a while to get into our offense. The initial attack is taking too long, and we run out of time getting into our secondary attack. But we're getting better on that, our offensive execution. Defensively, we have a very good understanding of what we're supposed to be doing. It's just that some individuals aren't as well-suited for it. So we've got to get those players better at those skills because we want them in the water on offense. And we'll keep refining our 6-on-5, which showed some signs of improvement this weekend."

"I want to play a solid game, and even better, a solid four quarters against Stanford. We don't want to play three solid quarters then lay an egg in the fourth. Or we don't want to struggle in the first quarter, then play well in the second, third and fourth. We want four good quarters, which is very difficult because Stanford is so talented. But if we can play four solid quarters against a team like Stanford, it should serve us well against our conference."