The USC women’s water polo team finally played its first home game of 2015. For the first time this season, the Women of Troy opened up their home slate of games at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center with a scrimmage against the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The No. 3-ranked Women of Troy (2-0) matched up against some of the best players in the world in what would be a tune-up for a tough upcoming road schedule.
After two blowout wins to open up the season at the UCLA Invite, starting with a 33-5 thrashing of Cal State Bakersfield and then a 24-3 beatdown of Cal Baptist, the water polo team hoped to use this scrimmage as an opportunity to get some of the younger and less experienced players to be more comfortable in a highly competitive atmosphere. With a challenging MPSF conference schedule looming, the Women of Troy needed all the practice and experience they could get.
Youth has been the story for this new Women of Troy squad, as there are 13 freshmen listed on the roster and two more transfers. Although led by senior captains and All-Americans Monica Vavic and Eike Daube, there have been at least eight newcomers who have already contributed early on in the season. Freshman goalie Victória Chamorro won the starting spot in the cage and has proven to be a force when it comes to blocking shots, totaling nine saves in just two games. Sydney Blubaugh and Brianna Daboub, local products from Mater Dei High School, are two other freshmen who have seen significant playing time as a two-meter and driver. Ultimately, the Women of Troy hoped to gain more experience and confidence from their scrimmage against team USA. The team also though that it would be a great way to gauge how they would fare against much tougher competition.
The friendly against the national team would be the lone home game in a span of seven weeks on the schedule for the Women of Troy, who must now gear up for three consecutive weekend road trips to continue NCAA action.
After starting the season off in Westwood at the UCLA Invite, the Women of Troy will first head down to San Diego for the UCSD Triton Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 7, facing the Pioneers of Cal State East Bay at 8:30 a.m. A week later on Saturday, Feb. 13, the team will then make the trek down to Riverside for the Lancer Invitational, where they face Cal Baptist at 4 p.m. and Redlands at 5:15 p.m. USC will then play two matches on Valentine’s Day — the first against Pomona-Pitzer at 11:30 a.m. and the second against Occidental College at 2 p.m.
Finally, the last of the string of away games will be at the UCI Invitational in Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 21. The Women of Troy won’t be back home for another month when MPSF foe and current No. 1-ranked Stanford comes to Troy in a nationally televised game at 6 p.m.