CSUN water polo enter Big West play this weekend

Monique Muñiz

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BIG WEST PLAY: The Matadors start Big West play this weekend starting with UC Davis. photo credit: Simon Gambaryan / contributing photographer

BIG WEST: The Matadors start Big West play this weekend starting with UC Davis. photo credit: Simon Gambaryan / contributing photographer

Coming off a two-week break, the CSUN water polo team will start Big West play starting this weekend when it will face the UC Davis Aggies and Pacific Tigers.

Northridge (16 -11) is coming off two victories and players seem optimistic about going into conference play.

“We feel really good. The two-week break was good for us before conference because we have been conditioning and we went back to working on our basics with our shooting, skill work and improving our style of play. We are focused,” senior Sydney Sonoda said.

The Matadors have already faced three Big West opponents in different tournaments throughout the season, which didn’t end favorably with losses to Long Beach State (10-7), UC Santa Barbara (11-8) and UC Davis (8-5).

“I don’t think we are worried. We got to look at it as clean slate and can’t focus on if they have beaten us or us beaten them before,” Sonoda said. “Yeah we never forget the times we have lost to someone, but it all comes down to which team shows up and who performs.”

The No. 15 Aggies (16-7) are coming off a 12-6 loss to No. 1 Stanford. UC Davis beat the Matadors by three the last time the two squads met on Feb. 27.

“For the Davis game, we have to adjust to their physicality and how hard they press us on the perimeter and just make smart decisions in the game. We just have to play well,” Sonoda said.

UC Davis is led by Jessica Dunn, who has 39 goals and 30 assists. Goalie Riane Woods leads the team with 108 saves.

CSUN will then go up against the No. 18 Tigers (16-8) on Sunday.

Pacific is currently riding a five-game winning streak with their last being an 11-5 victory over Pomona-Pitzer.

Dara Tawarahara leads the team with 33 goals and in goal, Michele Relton leads with 223 saves and 25 steals.

CSUN’s offensive attack has Whitney Delgado as the centerpiece with 61 goals, followed by Sydney Sonoda with 45 goals and Nicole Concialdi and Dana Harvey guarding the net with a combined 246 saves.

The Matadors will finish the weekend with a non-conference match up with Cal State San Bernardino.