The UCLA women’s water polo team has not played in a tournament-style setting since February. This weekend, the team will have back-to-back games against No. 6 UC Irvine on Saturday and No. 7 LMU on Sunday, bringing back that tournament feel.
After ending a 10-game win streak with a loss to the California Golden Bears last weekend, the team is looking to use this weekend as an opportunity to continue working on its game and improving.
“We need to move past the loss against Cal and just compete,” coach Brandon Brooks said. “Our perimeter shooting needs to be there a little more and just focus on the fundamentals.”
While the Bruins (16-2, 5-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) still have three regular season games, the postseason is on the horizon. This weekend of back-to-back games will help the team get back in the tournament mindset that it will face during the postseason.
“I am excited for this weekend,” junior utility Emily Greenwood said. “I think we need a back-to-back weekend to get more tired and realize that is what MPSF and NCAAs is: just a big tournament.”
Preparing for this weekend is not the only thing the team will need to do to succeed in the postseason. Every game from now until the conference tournament is key for the team.
Although the Bruins have many younger or less experienced players on the team, there remain the few seniors who are on the brink of ending their college careers. Three out of the top five scorers on the team are seniors, and as the season draws near an end these players look to help the team finish strong.
“Being here we are about the legacy of UCLA water polo and athletics, and even here trying to leave our own little legacy,” senior attacker Hannah Sebenaler said. “Hopefully through all the work we have done we have shown the girls how to get things done.”