Seattle, WA -- The #8 University of Washington Women's Water Polo Club team went 4-0 this past weekend in their conference opener hosted by the Oregon State University at the Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, Ore. Their conference win streak increases to 44-0 after this weekend, going undefeated in the Northwest Division since February 2016. .
The Huskies outscored their opponents this weekend 66-13 with wins against University of Oregon "B" (23-3), Oregon State University (15-4), Western Washington University (15-1), and conference rival, #17 University of Oregon "A" (13-5).
What made the feat even more impressive, was that the Huskies played iron[wo]man this weekend with no substitutes on the bench other than whichever of the two goalies, Shelby Smith (#1, San Diego, CA) or Gabrielle Wood (#1A, Long Beach, CA), were not in the cage.
The offense over the weekend was led by veteran and now graduate student, Karli Stone (#4, Tacoma, WA), and freshman newcomer, Abby Sylvester (#3 Coronado, CA) with 19 and 22 goals respectively, along with 6 assists each.
Other major contributions came from two fellow first year players, Jenna Somberg, (#13, Oak Park, IL) and Katie Johnston (#16, Livermore, CA). Somberg had 4 assists, 3 steals, and 4 goals, while the graduate student, Johnston, led the team in the supporter role this weekend with 7 assists, 7 ejections earned, and 10 steals.
Jalene Weatherholt (#17, San Jose, CA) was nothing but outstanding this weekend as she relished playing in her newly minted role as the team's primary center. In the first matchup of the weekend vs. University of Oregon "B", Weatherholt scored a team high, 7 goals, which also sets a career record for her for most goals ever in a game as a Washington Husky.
There to replace Weatherholt's recently vacated center defender position, was Hannah Sokol (#18, Arroyo Grande, CA), who did not allow a single goal to be scored from center all weekend in addition to her 5 steals, 5 ejections earned performance.
Both goalies this weekend, Shelby Smith and Gabrielle Wood, were outstanding this weekend as they only allowed 13 goals across the four games. Smith had a weekend high of 12 saves against #17 University of Oregon "A" in 4 quarters of action, while Wood posted a high of 6 saves and zero goals allowed in 2 quarters against Oregon State University.
Head coach, Rudy Ramirez, had this to say about this weekend's performance. "It was pretty exciting for me to watch this team get out there and take care of business all while playing 112 minutes of water polo with little to no break. We have the smallest team we've ever had in my 6 years with the program, but what these ladies are capable of is just flat out awesome. We still have plenty of work to do before we head to Eugene in two weeks to take on our two rivals [Oregon State, University of Oregon] again, but I'm confident we're only going to be stronger."
The 16-1 (4-0 in conference) Huskies will be training hard as they get ready for rematches with Oregon State University and #17 University of Oregon "A" on March 7-8 in Eugene, Ore. for the second CWPA Northwest Division tournament. Seeding for the Division Championships in April will be determined after those outcomes. Stay tuned.