No. 3 ASU water polo to be part of first live TV coverage

<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons above -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/03/no-3-asu-water-polo-to-be-part-of-first-live-tv-coverage/' addthis:title='No. 3 ASU water polo to be part of first live TV coverage'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>Women’s water polo has finally arrived. The Pac-12 Networks will provide a live broadcast today of a women’s water polo match for the first time ever. And the Arizona State […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
                <div>
                    <a class="addthis_button" href="//addthis.com/bookmark.php?v=300" addthis:url='http://phxfan.com/2013/03/no-3-asu-water-polo-to-be-part-of-first-live-tv-coverage/' addthis:title='No. 3 ASU water polo to be part of first live TV coverage'>
                        <img src="//cache.addthis.com/cachefly/static/btn/v2/lg-share-en.gif" width="125" height="16" alt="Bookmark and Share" style="border:0"/>
                    </a>
                </div>

Women’s water polo has finally arrived.

The Pac-12 Networks will provide a live broadcast today of a women’s water polo match for the first time ever. And the Arizona State program will be one of the featured participants in that ground-breaking broadcast as they take on the University of California in Berkeley.

The noon game will showcase the sport to a national audience by pitting the No. 3 Sun Devils against the No. 5 Golden Bears.

“NCAA women’s water polo is such a dynamic and fun sport to watch,” said ASU head coach Todd Clapper, who says he feels both excited and honored to have his team chosen for the first broadcast.  “I hope that the game not only attracts the water polo enthusiasts, but also the first-time viewers.

“It’s such a great opportunity for the athletes of both teams to showcase their hard work and talents for a national TV audience.”

This game is the first of four women’s water polo games that are scheduled for broadcast by the Pac-12 Networks in its inaugural season.

The match-up of the two top-5 teams will have major implications, not just in the conference standings, but in the national rankings as well.  And, to add a little drama, it will mark the rematch between these two teams. They played to an exciting 8-7 finish in an earlier game that ASU won.

ASU is 14-4 on the season and 2-1 in the conference and are coming off their best season in school history after finishing 25-6 last year.  The Devils hung in the top 5 nationally throughout most of last year and wrapped up the season with a fifth-place finish in the final Collegiate Water Polo Association polls.  They spent four weeks at No. 4 last year, but the current No. 3 national ranking is the highest in the program’s history.

A big part of the programs’ recent success has been the play of senior Alicia Brightwell, who won the MPSF scoring title last year with 75 goals on the season, the second-highest in school history, and leads the team currently with 42 goals.  She is the only player to score in every game this season and had three goals in the last game against top-ranked USC.

The Devils still sport the same high-powered offense this year, outscoring opponents 177-128, but are once again able to depend on a stingy defense to help win games.  The team has 174 steals so far, led by Brightwell’s 40.

ASU has beat Cal twice in the past year, the last time Feb. 23 at the UCI Invitational.  The Golden Bears will counter Brightwell with their own senior scorer, Emily Csikos, who has 34 so far this season.

It should be a shoot-out worthy of the television coverage.  The game begins at noon.

(Photo: ASU Athletics)