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Offense Fuels Water Polo's Saturday Sweep

Feb 26, 2022

IRVINE, Calif.– On day two of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, Sun Devil Water Polo (8-7) swept their competition with wins over No. 1 (DIII) Pomona-Pitzer and No. 15 UCSB. The two wins today has the Sun Devils facing the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers tomorrow at 11:30 am MST. Live stats for that game will be available here

Despite the slow start in game one, Head Coach Todd Clapper noted, "After the first quarter of the P-P game, the team really took off and played with such energy and teamwork."

The Sun Devil offense combined for 33 goals in the two games today, and was perfect on penalty shots on the day going 7-7. Freshman attacker Vanda Baksa led the offensive surge and recorded six goals and notched 5 assists for 11 points in the two games. This was her 12th multi-goal game of the season.

"We had some awesome defensive moments and on the offensive end, we had some great passing connections for goals," as Clapper praised his team's all-around efforts.

Senior center Amira Van Buren recorded her second hat trick of the season in game one, and two goals in game two for five on the day to help secure the double header win.

Itzahiana Baca got the start in goal for both games and compiled seven saves in each game after her eight against Long Beach yesterday. 

Game one vs Pomoma-Pitzer:

Pomona-Pitzer scored the first two goals of the game, and the Sun Devils were able to neutralize with goals in the first quarter from Stevilyn Griffin and Amira Van Buren. The Sagehens were able to tack on two more goals in the quarter to close out a 4-2 lead headed into the second quarter. 

The Sun Devil defense showed out in the second quarter and outscored P-P 6-0 in the frame, with two goals from Blaire McDowell and Vanda Baksa with Bori Kekesi, and Bianca Becerra each recording one. The 6-0 run gave ASU 8-4 insurance at the half. 

In the second half, the Sagehens took just seven shots after tallying 11 in the first half. In the third quarter, Van Buren recorded her second and third goal to notch her second hat trick of the season. Petovary and Becerra's goals in the third added to the comfortable lead as the Sun Devils outscored Pomona-Pitzer 4-2 to take a 12-6 lead into the closing frame. 

To close out the game, the Sun Devils outscored the Sagehens 4-1 with goals from Lara Kiss, Stevilyn Griffin, Abby Begg, and Luca Petovary to improve to 1-1 at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational. The Sun Devils went 2-2 on penalty shots and were 4-9 on the power play to secure the win. 

Game two vs UC Santa Barbara: 

The Sun Devils had their highest scoring quarter of the day today in the opening frame against UCSB with six early goals from four different scorers. A 6-2 lead was established after the first quarter, and ASU never looked back. 

Four more goals were scored in the second quarter by ASU, including Baksa's third of the game for another early hat trick. ASU took a 10-4 lead into the half after holding UCSB to two more goals in the quarter. 

Another four goal quarter was in store for ASU in the third quarter with goals from Petovary, Kekesi, Baksa, and Becerra to add to the cushion.

A 14-6 lead belonged to the Sun Devils to start the fourth, and midway through the final frame Marie Rudasics replaced Baca in net and notched two saves to close out the game. The offense outscored UCSB 3-2 in the fourth quarter to secure the second win on the day.