No. 7 Water Polo Opens Season at Michigan Kick-Off
Jan. 16, 2013
SAN DIEGO - No. 7 San Diego State opens its 19th season of water polo on Saturday when it competes at the two-day Michigan Kick-Off. The six-team event, which features SDSU, Colorado State, No. 14 Indiana, No. 11 Michigan, No. 9 San Jose State and No. 3 UCLA, will be held at Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Aztecs' first foe of 2013 will be former MPSF member, UCLA, at noon ET. It was at this tournament in 2010, when San Diego State defeated the Bruins, 7-6, in overtime. The victory was the Scarlet and Black's first over UCLA since 1995 and fourth in program history. A year ago, SDSU went 0-2 vs. UCLA and played the Bruins close in the quarterfinals of the MPSF Championship before they pulled away in the second half to notch the 9-5 decision.
On day two, the Aztecs will face a pair of Midwest teams in Indiana and the host school, Michigan. SDSU and IU will tangle at 9:10 a.m. ET on Sunday, before meeting the Wolverines at 12:15 p.m. ET.
San Diego State and Indiana met once in 2012, at the Aztec Invitational. SDSU led, 2-0, after one quarter and never looked back en route to a 7-2 win. The Aztecs and Wolverines, meanwhile, are seeing one another for the first time since 2011. SDSU won the most recent get-together, 14-12, which took place at the UCSD Triton Invitational. The first meeting that season took place in the third game of the year at the UCSB Winter Invitational and the Wolverines earned a 12-11 decision.
This is the second time San Diego State has competed at the Michigan Kick-Off. In 2010, the Aztecs won their first three games vs. UC San Diego, UCLA and Colorado State before falling to the Wolverines in the final tilt of the tournament.
SDSU opens the season with 11 letterwinners and three starters off a 2012 squad that posted a 22-11 record. Headlining the team in 2013 is a pair of All-Americans in Amber Pezzolla and Anique Hermann. Pezzolla, a senior utility, led the team with 65 goals and 80 steals, while tying for second with 38 assists in 2012. Hermann, meanwhile, completed her freshman year with 36 goals, 26 assists and 55 steals.
Pezzolla and Hermann are two of the Aztecs' three returning starters. The other is senior Alex Ford, who did a little bit of everything a season ago. Ford scored 15 goals, accumulated 38 assists and recorded the second-most steals on the team with 75.
After the tournament, San Diego State will play its annual alumni game at Aztec Aquaplex on Saturday, Jan. 26, at noon PT.