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Water Polo Splits Day One of the Stanford Invitational

Feb 5, 2022

STANFORD, Calif. – On day one of the Stanford Invitational, No. 9 Sun Devil Water Polo (3-5) split the day with a win over No. 10 UC Davis (5-3) and a loss to No. 2 Stanford (5-1). Tomorrow's competition will consist of two games against No. 4 California (10-0) at 11:20 am MST and No. 17 SDSU (0-0) at 1:30 pm MST. 

Freshman attacker, Vanda Baksa again had one of the best Sun Devil stat lines with eight total points off of four goals and four assists in game one against UC Davis– which was her sixth multi-goal game of the season. Defensively, she notched three steals and one field block.

Senior attacker Bori Kekesi tallied 8 steals on the day, 3 field blocks, and offensively recorded 3 goals and 2 assists good for five points on the day. 

Game one:
The Sun Devils came out swinging against UC Davis with a goal from the graduate center, and captain Amira Van Buren just 52 seconds into the game. Vanda Baksa, and senior attacker Blaire McDowell were the other two ASU scorers in the first frame which resulted in a 3-3 game. 

The Aggies were matching each Sun Devil goal and kept the game close through the first half until ASU's halftime adjustments were made. It was all the Sun Devils in the second half, as the only three goals in the third quarter belonged to Arizona State and provided a comfortable cushion. The Sun Devil defense showed out while holding the Aggies scoreless in the third, and four different defenders in Kaksa, Kekesi, McDowell, and Baca recorded three steals apiece to set the ASU total to 15.    

In the final frame, ASU tallied their most goals in a single quarter on the day with five, which was good enough to keep the lead over the Aggies and secure the 15-10 win. 

Eight Sun Devils put goals on the board, thanks to three made penalty shots– two from Baksa and one from Borbala Kekesi.

Game two:
Early on, Itzahiana Baca blocked a penalty shot from U.S. Olympian, Aria Fischer, to keep it a 1-1 game, but the Cardinal scored four goals to the Sun Devils' one to take a 5-2 lead into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, the Cardinal scored the first ___ goals, and Baca added on another blocked penalty shot to her resume. Emily Bennett and Abby Begg put the Sun Devils on the board in the second to keep the score to 10-4 at the half. 

Stanford won the opening sprint to start the third, and it was all Cardinal in the third while they held ASU scoreless and took a 15-4 lead into the final frame.