No. 7 Michigan Sinks UC-San Diego & UC-Irvine at UC-Santa Barbara Invitational
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan water polo team got 17 goals from its senior class as it downed No. 18-ranked University of California-San Diego, 11-8, and No. 10-ranked University of California-Irvine, 13-11, on Saturday (Jan. 29) at the University of California-Santa Barbara Winter Invitational at the Campus Pool.
Senior Ryley Plunkett (Modesto, Calif./Johansen) tallied a hat trick against the Tritons as part of a six-point day. Seniors Alison Mantel (Miami, Fla./Gulliver) and Lauren Orth (Poway, Calif./Poway) each had six goals on the day, while sophomores Kiki Golden (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) and Lauren Colton (Tustin, Calif./Tesoro) each had a three-assist game.
Sophomore Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) made eight saves and had four steals against UC-San Diego and added another three stops against UC-Irvine. Junior Morgan Turner (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills) made three stops en route to the win in the afternoon contest.
In the opener against UC-San Diego, Michigan posted a 4-3 lead at the end of the opening frame when Colton threw up a last-second shot from mid-pool that found its way into the back of the cage. The teams went back and forth, before Plunkett scored back-to-back markers in the final two minutes of the half.
Both team's defenses buckled down in the third quarter as Orth was the lone goal scorer, giving the Maize and Blue a three-goal edge heading into the final eight minutes.
In the fourth, Colton found Plunkett to complete the hat trick with 2:38 remaining in the contest, putting the game safely in hand for the Wolverines.
Michigan's second contest began with a bang as the Wolverines took a 6-4 lead in the first period, with Mantel's hat trick complete before the first intermission. After UC-Irvine tied the game, 6-6, midway through the second frame, Michigan got another marker from Mantel and a pair of five-meter scores from Orth to carry a 9-6 lead into halftime. Golden set up the first two Wolverine goals and Orth improved to 3-for-3 on five meters to put U-M up 12-8 heading into the final frame. Michigan continued to bear down defensively, cruising to the final horn.
The Wolverines continue on day two of the UCSB Winter Invitational on Sunday (Jan. 30) with No. 11 San Diego State at 9:40 a.m. PST at the Recreation Center Pool before concluding the weekend with No. 20-ranked Cal State Bakersfield at 12:40 p.m. PST back in the UCSB Campus Pool.
Release courtesy Michigan Athletic Communications