#1 USC & #6 Michigan in Town for Water Polo Tournament
TEMPE, ARIZ.-- After two straight weekends of undefeated play, the Arizona State water polo team will continue their 17 game home stand with their first tournament of the season. The Sun Devils will host a three team tournament in Tempe at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, where the 5-0 Sun Devils will be facing #1 ranked USC (1-0) and #6 ranked Michigan (4-0) in a quick six game weekend.
The undefeated start to the season for ASU is their first 5-0 start to open the season since the 2014-2015 season. A strong part of this success is due to the all around outstanding performance of the team. Freshman Luca Petovary leads the team in goals with 18, which is tied with Tina Doherty for second highest in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and leads the MPSG with 3.6 goals per game. Petovary's six goal weekend was enough to earn her MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors.
Second week in the maroon and gold ?? first MPSF honors ??
Congrats to Luca Petovary on earning MPSF Newcomer of the week after recording 6 goals on the weekend against CBU???????
— Sun Devil Water Polo (@SunDevilWP) February 23, 2021
Junior attacker Blaire McDowell is putting up strong numbers for ASU to lead the MPSF conference with 2.6 steals per game, and is tied for total steals with 13. Amira Van Buren had four goals and one steal against the Lancers to help lead ASU to their undefeated start. Emma Fraser also played well in last Saturday's doubleheader against CBU, recording one goal and one assist in game one, and tied for the team lead with four game two. Her stellar performance in game two also included two assists to put her at three on the day and 10 on the season.
Historically, the Sun Devils do not have the best track record against the Trojans, sitting at 1-29 in the program's 18 years of existence. With a win this weekend, the Sun Devils would have their first over USC since 2008. The Sun Devils also have not had an upset over a #1 ranked team in program history, so there is a lot on the line during this weekend's play. ASU will Play USC on back-to-back days at 9:00 AM MST on Friday the 26 and 9:30 AM MST on Saturday the 27. The games will be available to watch vis the ASU Live Stream, as fans are not permitted at any ASU home events this season.
Against Michigan on the other hand, the Sun Devils have the upper hand with an 8-4 record, winning six of their last 10 games against the Wolverines. Their last home matchup against Michigan came in 2016, and was a win for the Sun Devils. The two teams are head to head in the Collegiate Water Polo Association rankings, with ASU sitting at #4 and Michigan at #6 though both were tied for fifth in the preseason polls. The Sun Devils will face Michigan Friday the 26 at 1:30 PM MST and Sunday the 28 at 12:30 PM MST. The games will also be streamed via the Arizona State Live Stream; fans are not permitted at any ASU home events this season.
About the Trojans:
- The Trojans came into the season ranked number 1 in the CWPA preseason polls, after finishing the 2020 season 12-1.
- USC has not lost a game against the Sun Devils since 2008.
- USC's Maud Megens was named MPSF Player of the Week the week of Feb 16.
About the Wolverines:
- The Wolverines came into the season ranked 5th in the CWPA preseason polls, after finishing the 2020 season 11-8.
- Three Michgan players earned CWPA honors for last weeks performance over Indiana.
- Freshman attacker, Luca Petovary was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Week after recording six goals against CBU
- Senior defender Bente Rogge qualified for the Olympics with the Netherlands.
- The Sun Devils had a two game sweep of the California Baptist Lancers, extending their win streak over CBU to 17 straight.
- ASU is one of four undefeated teams in the MPSF.
- With ASU ranked #4, this is their 16th time in that position.