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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
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Water Polo

UCSB Women’s Water Polo Opens Season Against China’s National Team

The UCSB women's water polo team opens its season on Wednesday with an exhibition game against the national team of China at 6 p.m. at the Rec Cen Pool.

Coach Serela Kay's Gauchos will then host several schools in the Winter Invitational Saturday and Sunday. They'll play Cal Baptist and Michigan on Saturday and UCLA and Fresno State on Sunday.

The Gauchos will field a young squad this season, with a roster featuring six freshmen and five sophomores.

"We're young." said Kay. "We graduated a good nucleus, a good group of players last year so we are expecting to go through various learning stages throughout the season, but I think we are going to surprise a lot of teams from the beginning."

Returners Kate Pipkin, Sarah Snyder, and Sarah Kreiser are expected to lead the way by example. Last season as a sophomore, Pipkin was second on the team in scoring with 41 goals, 27 assists (68 points total), while swiping 39 steals on defense earning her an honorable mention on the 2017 Big West All-Conference Team.

The now sophomore utility player, Snyder, finished third in scoring last season for the Gauchos, with 35 goals and 9 assists (44 points total). Kreiser also played a large role for the team last season and is again anticipated to do the same in 2018. The junior in 2017 scored 26 goals with 11 assists (37 points total) and led the team with 12 field blocks in the pool. These three, with other returners, including Natalie Selin, Shannon Moran, and Kate Coski, are due to make waves in the pool and play their part with the development of this newer core of players.

"This season has a lot of potential to be very, very exciting," said Kay. "I hope people are ready to see what we can bring to the pool."

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