By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 18, 2005
The Arizona women's club water polo team hosts the Arizona Women's Cactus Classic, its only home event of the season, this weekend at the Student Recreation Center.
Texas A&M, New Mexico, NAU and the noncollege Old Pueblo Water Polo team will come to Tucson for the round-robin tournament, with the Wildcats being split up into an "A" squad and a "B" squad.
The "A" squad's first game will be against the Lobos at 10 a.m. tomorrow, followed by a match against the Aggies at 3 p.m.
"We're really excited for this weekend," said senior 2-meter defender Molly Gyben. "It will be the first time that our 'A' team will play together."
Arizona faced Texas A&M three weeks ago at a tournament in College Station, Texas, and won in shootouts.
Gyben said although that game was close last time, many of Arizona's top players couldn't make the trip to College Station.
A full "A" squad, in combination with home-pool advantage, could make a big difference this time around for the Wildcats.
"Having your friends come and watch and playing where you are comfortable, you got to love that," Gyben said.
The Wildcats have brought an experienced squad to the pool this season, with five seniors and 10 returning players
With the addition of new coach Emily Schmit, a first-year law student, senior driver Jaime Watts said she feels good about the team's chances in this tournament and in the conference.
Schmit played water polo during her undergraduate years at Indiana.
"She knows what it takes to be a solid team, because she played for a top-notch team," Watts said.
The tournament's championship match will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday.