Cal women’s water polo surpassed all possible expectations this past weekend at the Cross Conference Challenge. The team defeated every single one of its four competitors: Michigan, Arizona State, Fresno State and UC Irvine. As a result, it has an overall 4-0 record.
The Bears’ center player, Kitty Lynn Joustra, led the team in scoring with three goals within the first three minutes of the game against Michigan, finishing with four total. The senior, an attacker, resumed her collegiate athletic career with a hat trick after leaving for two years to train with Team Canada for the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Cal beat Michigan 12-8, starting off strong in its first game of the Cross Conference Challenge at Arizona State.
The Bears resumed play at the challenge the following day with games against the Sun Devils and Bulldogs.
Cal defeated ASU 17-7. Joustra scored two goals, as did Cal’s Cecily Turner. Senior Emma Wright scored four.
On that same day, the Bears beat the Bulldogs 12-8. Cal and Fresno went head-to-head all throughout the first quarter of the game, as the Bears initially only had a single point advantage. It was not until the second quarter that it became apparent Cal was widening its winning stance, opening up a 9-3 lead against Fresno.
The game against Fresno State was a memorable one for the Bears’ freshman, defender and member of the Netherlands national team program, Rozanne Voorvelt — she blocked two potential goals from the Bulldogs and scored three of her own, a great sign of how promising her career as a college athlete is.
Cal’s Emma Singer and Alex Higginson are two fellow freshmen who also each scored a goal of their own for the first time in their collegiate careers.
The Bears faced their last opponents of the Cross Conference Challenge on Sunday, closing off the weekend with a 16-8 landslide win against the Anteaters.
The Cal women’s water polo team did not tread the water lightly this past weekend at the Cross Conference Challenge — they played fiercely and were incredibly consistent.
This dangerous combination earned them an undefeated 4-0 record and it wasn’t against light competition either — the No. 5 Bears faced four teams all ranked in the top 10: No. 8 Michigan, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 10 Fresno State and No. 7 UC Irvine, defeating each of them.
Cal surely left the tournament physically exhausted, but entirely energized and invigorated by an impressive set of wins. The Bears scored a total of 57 goals this tournament, whereas their opponents scored just 31 goals combined.
Cal will host the next tournament, Cal Cup, starting Saturday, Jan. 29 and wrapping up the following day. It will welcome teams from Fresno State, Pacific, Long Beach State and San Jose State.