Water polo looks to improve consistency, remain unbeaten

The ASU water polo team is off to its best start in program history.

“We’re happy about the 12-0 start, but we need to learn from what we didn’t do well in those games and continue to grow as a program,” coach Todd Clapper said. “We’re constantly looking at what we’re doing in the present, keep getting better in practice and look forward to the games ahead. Whether we win or lose, we need to learn from it and move on.”

It seems the resonating tone for the No. 5 Sun Devils (12-0) is to keep fighting on defense and fine-tune components on offense.

“We’re continuing on the same track,” Clapper said. “Things on defense are getting better, and we’re working on our positioning.”

The team didn’t face any competition this past weekend, but that also didn’t leave any room for a breather. Conditioning and strengthening skills were intensely incorporated into their training to keep up with the season’s progression.

“We’ve been working on our defense and focusing on the other teams more, who we might face and what kind of players they have,” senior Annabelle Carter said.

Senior Mariam Salloum echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the team is working more on positioning and counter attack.

The Sun Devils expressed their collective goal to place in the top four in the UC Irvine tournament this weekend, proving themselves to be worthy contenders as they begin conference play.

If the team wins its first game, they will face top-four competitor Cal.

Carter said the matchup would be tough.

“It will be a real test for us to see where we really are at,” she said. “Hopefully we can knock them off, and then hopefully we should meet Stanford.”

Salloum agreed.

“Cal is in our conference, and we want to make a big appearance and scare them for our home game,” she said.

Both players would like to see their team improve defensively and execute an impressive counter attack.

“Having the least amount of goals scored against us is always our biggest goal because we have no problem on offense,” Carter said. “It’s just keeping the defensive goals out, and we’ll be fine at the other end.”

She said the tournament would help the team evaluate its progress at this stage in the season.

ASU is eager to make consistency a major factor in its regime this season. It allows for more success when things become second nature.

Clapper stressed that hustling on every play from beginning to end is key to playing great defense.

“If we can be the hardest working team there this weekend, we’ll have success,” he said.

The Sun Devils will travel to Irvine, Calif., to compete in the UC Irvine tournament this weekend.

 

Reach the reporter at fawade@asu.edu

 

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