(Photo: Sun Devil Athletics)
The intense preseason training came to a close this week for the ASU women’s water polo team. The past few weeks for Arizona State involved rigorous workouts that are designed to get a player in the right shape for the start of the season. This weekend, the Sun Devils will play Indiana to kick off the 2016 campaign.
“I think overall and top to bottom, we are pretty quick,” coach Todd Clapper said. “I think we have some clever players and the center position has been coming along nice. Also on defense we are doing a good job with a zone style.”
Last year ASU finished fifth place in the MPSF with a 16-10 record. This year Clapper’s team is ranked sixth behind typically dominant five schools: Stanford, California, USC, UCLA and Pacific. However, the players are exited for the challenge ahead of them.
“Right now, our coach is telling us to focus on the little things and details,” senior Katie Sverchek said. “We need to build on that over the next couple of weeks and through the next few tournaments.”
As part of the preseason training, ASU faced a club team from Shanghai, China in five scrimmages. Arizona State won three of the five games, and the first scrimmage featured Sverchek scoring a late game goal to capture a 7-6 victory.
Now the attention is turned towards the start of the season. The victories over the Shanghai club team can be great for momentum, pair that with the fact that the Sun Devils are ranked in the top 10, there is some promise heading into this season. However, this weekend will provide a better idea of how much the Sun Devils have improved to start their 2016 season.
“I think this weekend will be a good way to start off the tournament season,” Sverchek said. “Indiana is a great team and they are definitely someone we can show what we’ve got, but we have to focus on the details and do what we can to win those games.”
ASU’s first game against Indiana this Saturday at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.