LOS ANGELES – No. 2 seed UCLA (25-4) travels to USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Fri., May. 9 for its quarterfinal game in the 2014 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship against seventh-seeded UC San Diego (27-10). First sprint is set for Noon.
NCAA TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
Venue: Uytengsu Aquatics Center (USC)
Dates: May 9-11, 2014
Live Streaming: www.ncaa.com
Talent: Greg Mescall (play-by-play), Chris Dorst (analyst)
UCLA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
UCLA has won eight of the 13 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships and owns a record of 28-5 in those games. The Bruins won NCAA titles in 2001, '03, '05, '06, '07, '08 and '09 and have made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances. The 2005 and 2008 teams recorded 33-0 records, and the 2007 team won UCLA's 100th NCAA team championship. The Bruins last won the NCAA title in 2009 under Head Coach Adam Krikorian, who now coaches the USA Women's National Team. Overall, UCLA has won 11 national championships in women's water polo (19 berths), and owns a combined record of 51-8 in those matches. UCLA won national collegiate titles in 1996, '97, '98, and 2000.
IN THE RANKINGS
This week, the Bruins remained in the No. 2 spot after finishing second in the MPSF Tournament. UCLA began the season ranked third, moved up one spot after beating Stanford on Feb. 23, and assumed the shared top spot a month ago. For the last three weeks the Bruins have remained in the No. 2 spot. UC San Diego was ranked in a tie for 13th in the Apr. 23 rankings.
SCOUTING UC SAN DIEGO
The UC San Diego Tritons qualified by winning the WWPA automatic berth. UCSD has scored 376 goals this season, led by senior utility Sarah Lizotte's 73 goals and 49 assists. Three other players also have scored more than 40 goals: junior attacker Jolene Guiliana, 60 goals, 46 assists; sophomore attacker Julia Kirkland, 43 goals, 34 steals and sophomore two-meter Alexis Wieseler 42 goals, 34 steals. On Saturday, the Tritons defeated Pomona Pitzer 13-9 in the play-in game, and Lizotte scored four times.
UCLA owns a 23-3 advantage over UCSD in women’s water polo. The Bruins defeated the Tritons 8-6 on Feb. 22 in the UC Irvine Tournament. In that game, junior Emily Donohoe scored twice, and Alys Williams, Mackenzie Barr, Kelly Ronimus and Becca Dorst each scored once. Goalkeeper Sami Hill made 10 saves. The Bruins rallied from a 5-3 halftime deficit to score five second half goals, while limiting the Tritons to one goal in the last two periods. Lizotte scored twice in the first half, and Kirkland and Guiliana scored once each. In the series, all three losses to UCSD were suffered in UCLA's inaugural women's water polo season of 1995. Since then, the Bruins have won 23 straight over 19 years.
Brandon Brooks (UCLA '05) won his 100th career game on Jan. 18 when the Bruins defeated Concordia University of Irvine, 25-6, in their season opener. Brooks enters Friday's game with a career record of 124-30 (.805). In four full seasons, Brooks has guided the Bruins to four consecutive NCAA berths with three straight podium finishes. The Bruins also won MPSF Tournament titles in 2010 and 2012. Fifteen of Brooks' players have earned 21 All-America certificates, and 10 players have earned 21 All-MPSF awards. As an assistant coach with the men's and women's programs, Brooks has been involved in four NCAA championships, and as a collegian, he was part of two NCAA title teams (1999 and 2000). A two-time Olympic goalkeeper, Brooks was the starting goalkeeper for the 2004 U.S. team that won the silver medal in Athens.
Fourth-year junior goalkeeper Sami Hill led a cast of six Bruins who were named to various All-MPSF Teams. Hill was voted MPSF Player of the Year and joined Donohoe and Fattal on the first-team. Senior Becca Dorst was named to the second-team and sophomore Alys Williams earned honorable mention honors. Freshman Mackenzie Barr was voted to the MPSF All-Newcomer Team.