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Colorado State Enters Final Weekend Of League Play

The Colorado St. Rams are in their final weekend of Western Water Polo play before the conference tournament and are playing five games with four being league contests. Of the four conference games Colorado State plays this weekend, California State Easy Bay is the toughest game this weekend outside of playing No. 8 ranked San Jose St. Spartans.

With this being the final games before the conference tournament, seeding is on the line for the WWPA tournament. As of now Colorado State is No. 8 with only a better record than Cal State San Bernardino, however Colorado State can move up a spot or two as they play Sonoma State who is 3-8 in league play and Cal State Monterey Bay who is 4-5. Neither of those teams are head and shoulders above Colorado State, so they have a chance to move up.

Friday April 13

Colorado State at Cal State Monterey Bay 7 p.m. MT

This is a key game to get the weekend going right for Colorado State. Cal Sate Monterey Bay is 4-5 in league play and 11-10 overall, but a win would provide a chance for Colorado State to avoid playing LMU or Cal State Bakersfield in the opening round of the WWPA conference tournament in two weeks. Monterey Bay is led by Senior Nikki Smart who had eight goals this past weekend and leads the team with 76 goals. Smart is their two-meter player and has drawn 46 ejections and is a defensive presence with 32 steals, both team highs.

The other scoring threat is Katie Sowul who has 62 goals on the year, and after that the next leading scorer comes in at 23. So, if Colorado State can slow down Sowul and Smart then they have a chance to get a win. The goalie situation for Monterey Bay is split among Paige Robinson and Amanda Johnson who have had varying success. Robinson is the primary goal tender and has started 14 games and played in 21 of them, while Johnson has only six starts but has played in 21 games. As a team Monterey Bay has allowed 10.04 goals per game.

Colorado State will need to get their offense going since Monterey Bay allows double-digit goals per game and if Kallie Berry and Caroline Young can get on the scoreboard early the Colorado State should be able to be in good shape to get the win. The second half is when Colorado State can struggle, so if they can get out to at least a three goal lead at the half then they stand a good chance. Colorado State will need their defense to show up, because they are give up 10 goals per game as well, so they will need their goalie to step up. The field players defense is strong for Colorado State as they average over 10 steals and two field blocks per game. Basically if Colorado State wants tow in they will need to build at least a two goal lead at the half and have their goalie play an above average game.

Here is the weekend schedule.

Saturday April 14

Colorado State at Santa Clara, 3:15 p.m. MT
Colorado State vs. Sonoma State, 7 p.m. MT

Sunday April 15

Colorado State vs. No. 8 San Jose State, 11 a.m. MT

Colorado State vs. Cal State East Bay, 4 p.m. MT

For more on Colorado State sports go check out Mountain West Connection, and go visit The Skip Shot for more water polo news.