The CSU women's water polo team was sunk at the Fluid Five Challenge in Bloomington, Ind., last weekend.
The Rams ended the tournament 0-4 after losing to No. 9 Indiana, No. 13 Michigan, No. 10 San Jose State and No. 14 California-Davis.
"I thought we were going to do a lot better," said freshman Leah Kelly. "I think we played pretty good against Michigan, but Indiana – I don't know what happened. We just weren't up to our game."
In the Rams' first match, they took on the Michigan Wolverines. The Rams gave up four first-quarter goals to Michigan, leaving them to play catch-up the rest of the match. By the closing minutes of the first half the Rams brought the score to 6-2 with goals scored by junior captain Marisa Fernandez and freshman Shari Worack. The Rams ended up breaking even in the second half, matching Michigan's three goals, compiling a final score of 9-5 in Michigan's favor.
"We had a really bad start, but if we didn't have that quarter, we would have been tied," Fernandez said about the Michigan game.
Slow starts have been a recurring theme for the Rams this season.
"We always start all of our games sluggish. All the other teams score four or five goals in the first quarter and then we have to come back and try to step it up," Kelly said.
The Michigan game was the closest the Rams came to victory. They lost to Indiana 11-4, again falling behind 5-0 to start the game.
San Jose State then bested the Rams with a score of 10-3. Again, CSU fell behind 3-0 in the beginning. In CSU's last game of the road trip, California-Davis put the Rams' hopes of winning to sleep with a 9-2 victory.
"Personally I thought the score was going to be closer. They just killed us in the first half and we couldn't keep up," Kelly said.
The Rams once again fell behind 5-0 by halftime.
"We made a couple of mistakes that they capitalized on," Fernandez said.
Although the Rams didn't come away with a victory in the Fluid Five Challenge, they still have high spirits and believe they are learning more every day.
"We learned how to communicate better and talk to each other, also (to) play defense first," Fernandez said.
Kelly agreed that the tournament was a good learning experience.
"We learned we need to just come out more aggressive in the first quarter and not slack off," Kelly said.
The Rams are now 5-11 on the season and will be back in action Friday and Saturday when they head to Davis, Calif., to face California-Davis, California State-San Bernadino, California State-Monterey Bay and Sonoma State.