For Annie Quinn, this season has been bittersweet. As a senior water polo player, she had hoped that this year would be able to put a sweet finish on her CSU career, especially as she has dedicated the last three years to the sport.
“This season has been a little bit rough,” Quinn said.
Instead of a winning season it had hoped for, the team has gone 9-24.
The Rams head into the Western Water Polo Association Conference Championship at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif. today as the ninth seed.
“Our main emphasis has always been performing at the conference championships,” coach John Mattos said. “Hopefully things will pan out in our favor once we get the first game underway.”
The team will face California State University-Monterrey Bay at 12:15 p.m. today. CSU has played the Otters twice, losing both times by a close score. But this history between the two teams doesn’t worry CSU’s women.
“We are planning on going out there and playing strong and countering them,” said Emily Chambers, a junior on the team. “Our goal is, if we can beat them on offense and defense, we are going to win the game.”
According to Mattos, Monterrey Bay has been the upstart team of the conference, surpassing many expectations of the new squad.
“We all know that we are the more talented team, but they have a way of taking us out of our game,” Quinn said. The team has watched film on Monterrey Bay and is ready to counteract against anything that the Otters might try to throw at them.
“This weekend we need to remember to play our game and not get caught up in what other people are doing,” Quinn said.
The team is guaranteed at least one game every day of the tournament, which spans through Sunday, but it becomes vital for the Rams to play well against Monterrey Bay.
“That first round is really critical in how our conference is set up,” Quinn said.
If the Rams beat the Otters, they will go on to play the first-seeded team later on during the day. If they lose, they won’t play again until Saturday, Mattos said.
At last year’s conference championship, CSU finished in seventh place and the players look to surpass that ranking.
“This year we want to move up the ladder, hopefully to be in the top-five,” Chambers said.
With more marks in the losses column this year than they hoped for, the water polo team is excited to go into this weekend’s tournament and hopefully cap off the season with a good showing.
“It is an exciting weekend to prove how good we actually are,” Quinn said.
Hopefully for her and her teammates, Quinn’s senior season ends on a high note.
Sports writer Anica Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org