The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Loading Recent Classifieds...
The Girls Who Code club met together in Sierra Hall, on Friday, Sept. 15, in Northridge, Calif. Club members played around with a program to create a virtual game.
The CSUN club that’s encouraging women in STEM
Miya Hantman, Reporter • September 18, 2023

CSUN’s Girls Who Code club is just one of many across many campuses and countries, including 110 in...

Students form a crowd for DJ Mal-Ski on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 in Northridge, Calif.
Matador Nights carnival makes a splash at the USU
Ryan Romero, Sports Editor • September 21, 2023

The University Student Union hosted “Matador Nights” on Sept. 8 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The...

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock by FiledIMAGE.
Women’s Soccer has Closed the Competitive Gap
Luis Silva, Reporter • September 19, 2023

There is no longer a significant competitive gap in the sport of women’s soccer. There is a brighter...

The line for concert merchandise on the second night of The Eras Tour in Paradise, Nev., on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
My experience at The Eras Tour
Miley Alfaro, Sports Reporter • September 18, 2023

It’s been a long time coming. I began watching The Eras Tour, Taylor Swift’s ongoing concert trek,...

Within the Oaxacan town of Asuncion Nochixtlan, we find my mother’s birthplace, Buena Vista. Photo taken July 29, 2023.
I Love Being Mexican
September 12, 2023
A student holds up a sign during a rally outside of the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2023.
CSU board approves tuition increase amid protests
Trisha Anas, Editor in Chief • September 15, 2023

The California State Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a 6% tuition increase for the next five...

group of mena and women touching hands
Miracles In Action Restores Patients’ Lives and Actualizes their Potential

Water polo goes on road to face two Big West rivals before conference tournament

TEAMWORK: Head coach Marcelo Leonardi talks to his team during a game at Matador Pool where CSUN went undefeated 9-0. The Matadors will now head on the road for their last two conference games. photo credit: Monique Muiñz / sports editor

With the Matadors heading into the final stretch of the regular season, they are peaking at the right time as they go on the road this weekend for two crucial Big West games against UC Irvine and Long Beach State.

The first place Cal State Northridge water polo team, which is 3-0 in conference play, has an opportunity to clinch the top seed in the Big West Tournament if it comes up with victories in both games. However, the Matadors cannot think that far ahead as they face a tough No. 10 UC Irvine team on Saturday, which is in second place with a 2-0 conference record.

“It’s a head-to-head battle of the two top dogs (in the Big West) meeting up and from last year, a few of our older players may be holding a little grudge,” said junior Whitney Delgado, referring to the Matadors’ loss to the Anteaters in last season’s conference championship game. 

Northridge, which is on a seven-game winning streak, will face UC Irvine for the first time this season. The Anteaters are on a two-game winning streak with their last lostscoming against Stanford, 13-4. 

“We have film and know their (UCI) tendency, but at this point, it is cleaning certain aspects of our game from the previous Big West games and matchups,” said coach Marcelo Leonardi. “They are well coached and fundamentally sound. They don’t beat themselves very much, but at the same time there are aspects of their game that I think we can capitalize on.

“At this point of the season every team should be playing its best water polo and I feel that we are starting to do that,” Leonardi said.
The Anteaters’ offensive weapons are sophomore Jessy Cardey with 38 goals and freshman Danielle Warde with 39 goals.

“Heidi (Pettinger) and Jessica (Goforth) are going to have to do a good job on (Danielle) Warde and Jessy (Cardey) is a fantastic shooter and attacker. We are going to have to keep someone in front of her the whole time, I don’t think we will be able to stop her, but hopefully put enough pressure on her that she gets out of her comfort zone,” Leonardi said.

Leonardi believes that in order for the Matadors to reach the championships, they need to win their first game against UCI.

“The bottom line is that the last two years, (UC) Irvine has either won the tournament championship or has been co-champs and they have always been there in the end, I feel that to put ourselves in the position to win a championship we have to go through Irvine,” Leonardi said.

CSUN (21-11) is not taking anything lightly in their last game Sunday, as they will face No. 13 Long Beach State to end the regular season. 

The Matadors and 49ers faced each other on Feb. 13 in what resulted in a 10-7 Northridge loss, but Leonardi said that can be an advantage for Northridge.

“By being able to play a team we played before we know what to expect and we have the film and we can prep for them,” Leonardi said. “There is no excuse, it’s one team versus another and whoever plays the best water polo will win that game.”

The 49ers have hit a bump on the road with three straight losses to opponents that included Hartwick, Pacific (5-3) and an overtime loss to UC Davis, 9-7.

“They have been playing well all season and then these past few games that they lost were a surprise to us,” said Delgado, who leads the team in Big West scoring with 70 goals. “It has always been said that you don’t know what is going to happen, we just need to be prepared.”

The Matadors have Delgado along with Pettinger (56 goals) and Sydney Sonoda (48 goals) as the primary offensive threats and in the net will be Dana Harvey, who has 162 saves in 18 games. Harvey’s last game in goal, she recorded 15 saves in the victory against UCSB.

“I feel we are in a good position because we are 3-0. We are still hungry and we want to win a championship,” Leonardi said.

Game Notes: UC Irvine has won 13 of 17 against the Matadors. The two teams have split the last six matchups.

More to Discover