No. 4 Water Polo Hosts Season Opening Tournament
TEMPE, Ariz. – After opening the preseason polls at a program-best No. 4, Sun Devil Water Polo will open the season at home hosting the Cross Conference Challenge this weekend. The four teams coming to town include California, UCI, Michigan and Fresno State– all of which ranked in the top-10 in the CWPA's preseason polls.
The Sun Devils will play four games over the course of the tournament from Jan 21-23, and the games will be viewable via the ASU Live Stream.
ASU kicks off Friday morning with an 8:30 am matchup against No. 10 Fresno State, who made an appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament but fell to Stanford in the quarterfinal round. The Bulldogs finished last season 13-6 and put up double-digit goals in all of their wins. This will be just the second matchup against the Bulldogs after a 14-3 Sun Devil win in 2018.
The final game on Friday will be at 1:30 pm, when the Sun Devils take on UCI who checked in at No. 7 in the preseason polls. The Sun Devils have not faced Irvine since a road defeat in 2020, but have the all-time series advantage 18-7, including an impressive 8-1 record when facing UCI at home. UCI ended last season 12-8, and did not make the NCAA Tournament after falling to Hawaii 8-9 in the Big West Championship.
Saturday kicks off with their matchup at 10:00 am against MPSF foe and No. 5 ranked California, who the team beat in the MPSF Championship Tournament last season to eventually be named an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Cal had the 2-1 advantage over the Sun Devils last season but the Golden Bears have not had a regular season game in Tempe since 2018.
They end the opening weekend with another morning matchup at 8:30 am, in a rematch of their quarterfinal NCAA Tournament game against the No. 8 Michigan Wolverines. Sun Devils split the regular season series with Big Blue last season, but went on to defeat them 9-5 to advance to the NCAA Tournament semifinals and eventually falling to the NCAA Champions, USC.
Fans are welcomed at Mona Plummer this weekend, but will be required to follow the Covid protocols. Check asu.edu for updates. A mask must be worn to gain entry into the facility.
Spectators will not be allowed on deck unless an arrangement for ADA has been made. Anyone on the pool deck is required to wear a mask and sit in the pre-set locations. All spectators in the upper grandstand are encouraged to wear masks and to be socially distanced.