The ASU women’s club water polo team used Tuesday’s practice as an opportunity to run all of the different offensive formations that it had been working on for the past three weeks.
After many walkthroughs and breakdowns of certain situations, Tuesday was the day where the Sun Devils had to put it all together in a game-type atmosphere.
Practice began how it normally does, with a warm-up swimming set followed by pressure passing and taking practice shots around the five-meter mark. Afterwards, coach AJ Grucky pulled all of the women into the wall and informed them that they would be scrimmaging for the last hour of practice.
He mentioned the importance of staying in constant motion on offense, and that he would stop the scrimmage from time to time if they were not executing plays.
This was not an average scrimmage, though, because the women on offense were given two possessions to try and score. After the second possession, the players were forced to counter-attack, making the offensive team play defense and vice versa.
In his fifth year as head coach, Grucky finds this type of scrimmaging crucial.
“Not only does this help the women run offensive and defensive situations, it also gives them a chance to work on chemistry with one another,” Grucky said. “Some of the women play better with certain individuals, and we need them to play better with the players they share minutes with in-game.”
The primary focus on offense was to get the ball into two meters so the whole set could score. However, this proved to be difficult since the women on defense were aware of this.
The offensive team had to clear two meters and set screens to try and get an open shot. It was a great chance for the women to practice these types of situations for the upcoming Southwest Division Championships.
Overall, Grucky was satisfied with practice, but he believes the Sun Devils still have another level they need to get to.
“The effort tonight was better than Monday’s,” Grucky said. “But I’m hoping Thursday’s effort is better than today’s and I’m hoping next week’s effort is even better than this week’s.”
It was clear that the team was exhausted by the end of its hour-long scrimmage, but the Sun Devils understand that all of their work will pay off in postseason play.
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