The Ram water polo team will be hosting the second annual CSU Invitational Tournament this Saturday. The event is Saturday and Sunday and will feature some great programs, including the No. 5 ranked University of California.
“Cal has some international players and some very, very talented girls that play at a very high level,” said coach Mike Moody. “It will be fun to watch our girls play and compete against them.”
The Ram squad played its first matches of the season in Ann Arbor, Michigan Jan. 24 and 25. Unfortunately the team lost all of its matches and left with a record of 0-4. The Rams are not dwelling on the loss, however, as they are using the comfort of being at home to their advantage this weekend.
“I feel very confident. I feel we put a lot of time and effort into practicing and working on what we need to do,” said senior team captain Emily Chambers.
To beat nationally recognized programs the team will have to play to its greatest strength: teamwork. It’s something the team knows plenty about.
“I think it’s going to take the entire team working together (to win),” said goalie Krystyna McCright. “Keeping our heads up and supporting everyone on the team.”
Water polo is similar to other sports, including basketball, in the fact that team cohesion can make or break a game. Because passing is such a large part of play, the team needs to be on the same page at all times.
Water polo uses the same sort of defensive strategies like press and zone but has more obstacles in the way. The rules state that no player, except the goalie, can catch, throw or pass the ball with two hands, making the sport all the more difficult; that plus spending almost an hour treading water creates a sport true to athleticism that few know exists.
“We’re excited to just have some games here at home, so people can come out and watch and learn a little bit about our girls and watch the sport,” Moody said.
The tournament lasts all day Saturday and will finish up Sunday at Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC) in eastern Fort Collins.
Sports reporter Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.