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Water Polo Takes on No. 2 UCLA in Final 2022 Road Trip

Apr 1, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – After a week off, No. 9 Sun Devil Water Polo (13-9, 1-2) hits the road for the final time this regular season for an MPSF conference matchup against the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins (21-2, 3-1). The game can be viewed here on the Pac-12 Network, and is set to start at 12:00 pm MST on Saturday, April 2.

For the remainder of the season, the Sun Devil Water Polo Program will be under the guidance of interim head coach Petra Pardi. Pardi earned All-America honors as a junior and served as team captain her senior season, competing for the Sun Devils from 2011-15. She returned to the program as a graduate assistant coach in 2016 and began serving as an assistant coach in 2018. Pardi was a member of the 2014 team, who earned a berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament. In 2021, she was an assistant coach for the Arizona State squad who reached the NCAA Championship tournament for just the third time in program history.

The Sun Devils had a weekend to regroup after a tough home loss to No. 4 California. In the loss, freshman attacker Vanda Baksa became the program's leading freshman goal scorer with an early hat trick against the Golden Bears. She now holds the program's freshman goal, assist, and point records. After her record breaking performance, she was named MPSF Newcomer of the Week for the third time in her career, and became just the second player in the MPSF to earn three weekly honors, the other being UCLA's Maddie Musselman.

UCLA faced USC in the NCAA Championship and finished second last season after a loss to the Trojans. The Bruins come off of an 11-9 loss to No. 1 Stanford last weekend for just their second loss of the season. Despite playing over 20 games, the Bruins are 3-1 at home this season, with the majority of their wins coming on neutral sites. 

ASU has not faced the Bruins since last season's three games in Tempe, and once in the MPSF Championship Tournament. The Sun Devils defeated UCLA 8-6 in the first meeting last season for their first win over the Bruins since 2013.