Water polo itches to scratch win column

By Alexandra Cannady |Staff Writer|

Water polo has started their season off with an 0-6 start.

Though down, the team is not out and continues to practice hard, working on adjustments that will improve the team’s performance.

Recently, the team participated in the Occidental Mini tournament Feb. 11 versus the Azusa Pacific Cougars and Occidental College.

The Coyotes came up short in both matches with a score of 16-11 against Azusa and 20-7 in the match against Occidental.

Coach Sarah Reneker’s squad had the game all tied up in the first quarter 2-2.

Azusa Pacific made a few adjustments and took it to the Coyotes, scoring seven more goals before the half.

“We had the game tied in the first quarter but we gave it away in the second quarter, it was what killed us,” said Reneker.

The Coyotes might have lost the match but did not take the defeat lying down.

Captain Misty Vu impressively scored five goals against Azusa Pacific with her other teammates not trailing far behind. Shelle Kocher added three goals of her own while Kayla Barrow, Jasmine Duran and Georgiana Bray each had one.

Goalie Kelsey Purkiss put up a solid effort as well, blocking eight goal attempts by the Cougars. The Coyotes went on to outscore the Cougars in the final quarter 4-2, but were unable to overcome the onslaught that was the second quarter.

“By the time we woke up and brought our intensity to capitalize; it was too late,” said Reneker.

The squad found that they were unable to regroup against Occidental College despite another valiant effort.

The match started out close with the Coyotes trailing 3-2 in the first quarter. Again, the second quarter led to the Coyotes downfall as Occidental College went on to score eight goals in the quarter, taking a huge lead.

Purkiss continued to defend Coyote territory with four more saves in the cage while fellow teammate Madison Morris managed four goals of her own.

Vu led in scoring once again with three more goals followed by Kayla Barrow with two. Jasmine Duran and Sophie Smith also contributed, scoring one goal apiece.

The Coyotes could not recover however after Occidental College exploded for eight goals in the second quarter.

Coach Reneker offered no excuses for her team but commented on the change of facility from  practicing in a deep pool to playing in a shallow one during their games.

She still feels her team should have performed better, however.

“I don’t know what really happened, we shut down mentally and could not recover,” continued Reneker.

The Coyotes will be forced to recover as they have 28 matches left to go.  Its not too late to save their season.

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