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Water polo wraps up season

Senior Addison McGrath takes a shot on net during a game against Stanford earlier this season at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. (Lindy Mapes | The State Press)

The No. 8 Sun Devil water polo team (13-11, 0-6 MPSF) closed its season with a trip to San Diego, where it faced No. 7 San Diego State (20-8, 0-6 MPSF) Saturday.

The Sun Devils were hoping to get what would be their first and only divisional victory of the season, against the Aztecs, who are also winless in the MPSF.

The two teams met in February, when SDSU beat the Sun Devils 10-8 at the UC Irvine Invitational. However, neither team has won a conference game all season, and any chance at competing for a national championship is grim, if not futile, for both teams.

In what seemed like a battle of who could care less, the Sun Devils hopes of not ending the season winless in their conference was not to be. SDSU beat the Sun Devils 11-8.

The final match of the Sun Devil season marked the final regular season game for senior Addison McGrath.

Looking back on her collegiate career, ASU coach Todd Clapper credits McGrath with helping to shape the ASU water polo program and with being a leader in and out of the pool.

“She has really made a big impact on her teammates by challenging them every day,” Clapper said. “She is like a coach in the water. She works year round at the goals she has set. She is a strong player for us as a top player in the conference, and she represents ASU well. She has been the person who has helped me craft the team and grow it.”

McGrath has held and broken nearly every ASU water polo record possible and recorded her third 50-plus goal season in four years, including 81 goals in the 2008 season.

Clapper said the most important thing is the team is improving and noted that the Sun Devils didn’t lose to a team outside the MPSF all season.

“Before you win a national championship, you have to have a championship culture,” Clapper said. “We have taken big steps for that. Our team is just trying to get better, and we want to improve every week. We have kind of developed a rivalry with [SDSU].”

The Sun Devils have a week off before they head to Hawaii for the MPSF conference tournament, where they will be the eighth seed.

Nick Ruland contributed to this story.

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