The ASU water polo team is busy at work preparing for the second half of its season.
The Sun Devils finished the first half of the season with a 13-6 (1-2 MPSF) record.
The beginning of the season had its ups and downs for the Sun Devils.
They lost a tough conference match to No. 1 USC at the first home game of the season.
ASU had some positive wins as well. It defeated UC Irvine at its home pool and tournament 9-8.
The Sun Devils have a good chance at making it to the NCAA Championships this year and are continuing to improve on what they are doing, good and bad, since the first half of the season.
Redshirt sophomore goalie E.B. Keeve said the team’s offense was particularly strong in the first half of the season.
“We have a lot of shooting threats,” Keeve said. “We started to realize we could actually take the shots.”
She said the team has begun to not be afraid to take more shots and the offense has seen a big stride since then.
Keeve said the team is working on taking more risks on offense but is on its way to an even more powerful shooting aspect of its game.
Although the team has had a powerful offense and made a lot of positive plays that resulted in scoring, the team’s biggest struggle is still defense, Keeve said.
She also said shot blocking has been a struggle for the team.
The team is taking extra time in practice to work on blocking shots and rounding out the defense.
So far in the off time, Keeve said she believes the defense and shot blocking has improved.
Keeve and fellow teammate, freshman attacker Izabella Chiappini stayed late after practice to work on shots and blocking.
Chiappini said she agreed with Keeve that defense was the team’s biggest struggle.
“Our defense is getting better as we practice,” Chiappini said.
She said that although the offense was the team’s strongest aspect in the beginning of the season, it is still important for the team to improve on it leading into the second half of the season.
Chiappini and Keeve are helping each other improve by putting in extra work after practice.
Coach Todd Clapper also said the team’s defense is what needs the most work.
The Sun Devils will work on improving their defense until April 5, when they take on Stanford in their next conference game.
Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy