ASU water polo preps for MPSF championships

Redshirt sophomore goalie EB Keeve throws the ball out to the Sun Devils during a game in Tempe. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Redshirt sophomore goalie EB Keeve throws the ball out to the Sun Devils during a game in Tempe. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

After finishing the regular season strong, the ASU water polo team has a couple of weeks off before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships.

The Sun Devils defeated California 6-5 at the final regular game of the season at home on April 12.

Redshirt sophomore goalie E.B. Keeve had a successful game, saving 17 shots. She said the team’s cohesiveness was the main reason for the team’s “outstanding” game.

 

 

Coach Todd Clapper said the team’s intensity had been lacking during the previous games before Cal.

He said the team had a tough week of practice going into the Cal game and will continue the same momentum as they prepare for MPSFs.

“If they continue to train like they are, at MPSF we’ll do well,” Clapper said.

In practice leading up to the start of the tournament, the Sun Devils will continue to increase their intensity.

He said the team is hoping for the best results possible and believes they can perform well.

“We’re on the right track,” he said.

ASU is ranked No. 5 and will potentially face the four teams that rank above it at the MPSF championships.

Stanford defeated UCLA 9-8 last week to officially secure the No. 1 spot for the MPSF tournament.

UCLA and USC will battle for the No. 2 spot April 16 at USC’s pool.

USC was the No. 1 team for most of the season before falling to Stanford 9-5 at the end of March.

Despite the Golden Bears’ loss to the Sun Devils, they currently sit at the No. 4 spot in both the MPSF and NCAA rankings.

Cal faces Stanford this week and the results could bump San Jose State up in the rankings.

San Jose State is currently No. 6 in the MPSF rankings. If the Spartans defeat CSU Bakersfield on Friday and Cal loses to Stanford, San Jose State will secure a No. 5 seed for the MPSF tournament.

Bakersfield currently sits at No. 7.

With a San Jose State win and a Cal loss, ASU could potentially be ranked No. 4 going into the MPSF championships.

The Sun Devils still have a high possibility of receiving a bid for the NCAA championships.

The team has never gone to NCAAs in the history of the program, but Clapper said he believes the possibility is still very strong.

The team will need to finish in the top two at MPSFs in order to receive a bid to NCAAs.

The MPSF championships run from April 25 to April 27 in Los Angeles at USC.

If ASU receives a bid for the NCAA championships, the tournament is held from May 9 to May 11, also in Los Angeles.

Reach the reporter at Megan.Kavy@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @meggiekavy