After placing second in their second-annual home tournament last week, the CSU water polo team is heading to Bakersfield, Calf. this weekend for the Cal-State Bakersfield Tournament.
The Rams will be taking on Fresno Pacific at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday to kick off the weekend. The team is hoping that the first game is the one they can bounce back from and prove that the national recognition they have been getting is deserved.
“I expect us to go in and win some games,” coach Mike Moody said.
The Rams will also being going up against No. 7 UC-Davis on Saturday, a team they feel is very close in skill to No. 5 California, to whom the Rams suffered two close losses in last weekend’s tournament. The Rams may have lost the final game and finished in second to Cal but they think they can be successful against a ranked team.
“We’ll control the ball and limit our offensive errors,” Moody said about playing the top-10 team. “[We’ll] play good, physical defense-team defense.”
The Rams will finish the tournament off with Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay on Sunday. After the team held close to Cal 15-7, where most Cal goals were scored in the first period, the team feels more confident, but that may be a disadvantage.
Moody delivered a stern speech about not becoming complacent to his players hoping that hard work and coach encouragement can help the Rams bring home some victories. Water polo is a physical sport requiring constant attention paid to coaches and the players in the pool.
The Rams know what it will take to make this tournament a successful trip.
“Better ball control on offense and better shot selection. A little bit better zone defense. Play together as a team and stick to the game plan,” Moody said.
The Rams will return home from California and get back in the pool to prepare for their next tournament on Feb. 24.
Sports writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.