The ASU water polo team is preparing to take a trip to California to face two tough conference competitors, Stanford and San Jose State, on April 5 and April 6.
The Sun Devils are currently 13-6 (1-2 MPSF) and are gearing up for the second half of their season.
The team’s two-week off period is coming to a close, and the Sun Devils are excited for the rest of the season.
Junior attacker Petra Pardi said the team is focused on making the upcoming games count.
She said the Saturday and Sunday games are “extremely” important for the Sun Devils’ chances of advancing further this season.
“The San Jose game is going to be a really, really important one for us,” Pardi said. “If we beat them, we pretty much can assume that we qualify for NCAAs.”
She said she believes the team has a great shot at beating San Jose State and taking the team to its first NCAA run in program history.
The game will be tough but Pardi said she believes the team is dedicated to making sure it’s on top of its game.
The team has been focusing on its five-on-sixes to prepare for San Jose State because the Spartans are dominant in that aspect of the game, Pardi said.
She said the team has also been working on its six-on-fives to give themselves the best opportunity to score in the game.
Pardi said the team isn’t just focusing on San Jose State. The Sun Devils will also take on Stanford, which will be tough competition as well.
“Stanford is always a hard game,” she said. “They have a great time and it’s going to be a lot of focus and high energy.”
Pardi said the team knows what kind of play Stanford will use and said they have been focused on competing strongly against them.
She said defense and offense would be important for the Stanford game, because the Cardinal dominate both sides of the game.
Pardi said both games will be tough but the Sun Devils are working toward making it to NCAAs and will do whatever it takes to get there.
“We just need to stick to our plan,” she said. “We need to play our game, play our Sun Devil water polo.”
San Jose State is 18-10 (0-3 MPSF) and lost its last game by one point to USC.
Stanford is currently 16-1 (2-0 MPSF) and defeated USC 9-5 in its last game.
The Sun Devils face the Cardinal first on April 5 at 1 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
After that game, the team heads to San Jose, Calif., to face San Jose State on April 6. The start time has yet to be announced.
Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy