The No. 6 ASU water polo team will host its first home match of the season this weekend, as they take on No. 3 UCLA and No. 1 Stanford.
The Sun Devils dropped their last contest with Stanford 15-14 and have lost five of their last eight matches.
ASU coach Todd Clapper said that the team is going to have to switch some of their focus if they want to compete with the four-time defending champions UCLA.
“We don’t switch our game that drastically from week to week,” Clapper said, “but we have to be looking more at the perimeter.”
For the Sun Devils to stand a chance, Clapper said they are going to have to match the offensive energy that the Bruins bring to the pool every time they dive in and wants his team to understand that UCLA has the ability to score points in a hurry.
“UCLA is a pretty explosive team,” Clapper said. ““If we can play hard and shoot well and keep the game close, then we can win.”
Clapper said the team wants to work on keeping up with the much faster run-and-gun teams in order to keep winning.
Last weekend, the team dropped two of four games to No. 2 USC and No. 5 San Diego State at the UC Irvine Invitational.
This weekend could make or break the team’s season. The season began with a six-game win streak that came to an end in their seventh game in a 19-9 loss to USC.
ASU senior Addison McGrath was held to six goals in the Irvine tournament and went scoreless in the game against San Diego State. To win this weekend, the team will need big performances from McGrath and sophomore Lynlee Smith.
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James King contributed to this article.