Davis, CA -- This past weekend, the University of Washington Huskies competed for their first time ever at the Davis Invitational and went 3-1 to mark a very successful tournament for the #7 team in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) preseason national club poll. The Huskies came to the tournament looking to compete against the tough California teams they rarely get a chance to play outside of the National Championships.
The Huskies 3-1 mark included, wins against Chico State (14-3), UC San Diego (13-4), UC Davis B (9-3), and a loss against last year's National Champion and this year's #1 ranked team, UC Davis A (3-10).
The Huskies started out the tournament playing against a very strong and physical Chico State team. It was slow start for the Huskies, who allowed the opening goal against them, in less than two minutes into the first quarter. But before the quarter's end, Karli Stevenson (#4, Tacoma, WA) tied it up to end the first quarter 1-1. After seeing the physicality and strength of the Chico Sate team, UW coaches Rudy Ramirez and Mark Garrett made a major shift in gameplan before the start of the second quarter. With a new emphasis on the counterattack, the Huskies
outscored the Wildcats 7-1 with 2 more goals from Stevenson and another 2 from Mary Elizabeth Ward (#6, San Rafael, CA) as well as 1 more each from Stevenson, Ward, and sophomore newcomer, Anastasia Bondarenko (#12, Bellevue, WA) from the field to end the half 8-1, Huskies.
The Huskies would go on to finish the game 14-3, behind the offensive efforts of Stevenson (6 goals), Ward (6 goals), and Bondarenko (2 goals); and major defensive help from goalie and last year's Northwest Division Most Valuable Player of the Year, Elizabeth Lipps (#1, Menlo Park, CA).
Later in the day, the Huskies would take on another tough opponent from California, the UC San Diego Tritons. But this time, fueled by their earlier win, the Huskies came out swinging and went up in the first quarter 3-1, with goals once again coming from Ward and Stevenson. The Dawgs jumped out to an even bigger lead in the second, with two center shots from starting center, Lauren Hickey (#10, Palos Verdes, CA), and one each from two more new-comers, Bayla Forman (#9, Long Beach, CA) and Sophia Ko (#13, Puyallup, WA).