Thursday, April 9

Women’s water polo takes three of four in tournament, falls to Stanford

Sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman led the Bruins with nine goals this weekend. UCLA finished third at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)

The Barbara Kalbus Invitational this weekend was one with both positives and negatives for UCLA women’s water polo.

Going into the weekend, coach Adam Wright said he was looking for more of a progression than in the recent weeks, hoping to see the team use what it had learned.

No. 4 UCLA (16-2) opened the tournament Friday against No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (10-7) and won with a score of 13-3.

At their next round Friday, the Bruins played a close game against No. 5 Hawai’i (11-2) and they came out victorious, winning 9-8.

UCLA moved onto the semifinals, where it lost to No. 1 Stanford (11-0) with a score of 3-10.

Going into their next game against No. 2 California (12-3), Wright said he was determined to rectify the past two games.

“We went from a game against Stanford, letting them do absolutely anything, to how we were going to show up against Cal,” Wright said.

After a tough day Saturday, senior attacker Devin Grab said she was determined to forget what had happened the day before and focus on their game against Cal.

“(Wright) always emphasizes presence, so just forgetting about the past. There is nothing that we could do about that loss to Stanford, all we could do was focus on the game in front of us,” Grab said. “We really just had to focus on Cal’s personnel and what they ran and what we could do, and that’s all you really can do.”

Junior goalie Carlee Kapana had a season-high 13 saves against California and said she really focused on a theme Wright had given them.

“One of our themes this year is mindful presence and being very present the whole game and not thinking about the past or the future, just staying in the present the whole game,” Kapana said.

Throughout the last week of practice, UCLA was aiming to continue to work on its five-on-six.

However, they left their game with a lower percentage than wanted.

The Bruins’ power-play percentage was 0.333 compared to Cal’s 0.571, showing it is something that is still in the works.

“I think recognizing their better shooters and moving out at the better shooters and recognizing where we want the shot to come from (is something we have to work on),” Grab said. “Adam always emphasizes us moving out in our blocks if we need to, so practicing that is for sure going to help us.”

Sophomore attacker Maddie Musselman came out of this weekend with nine goals – four against Cal, three against UCSB and two against Hawai’i.

Musselman scored 28 percent of the goals scored this weekend, showing her offensive strength.

With a two-week break coming up, Wright said he plans to watch and analyze videos of themselves as well as the other teams to see what went wrong.

Sports reporter

Britton is currently a Sports reporter. She was previously a contributor on the swim & dive, women's water polo and men's water polo beats.

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