UCLA Women's Water Polo Wins Fourth National Collegiate Title

May 8, 2000

Bruins are 2000 National Champions: The UCLA women's water polo team secured its fourth national collegiate title Sunday, defeating defending national champion USC 11-4 in the title game of the 2000 Collegiate Championships hosted by the University of Indiana at the IU Natatorium.

From the start, the Bruins came on strong. UCLA's suffocating defense prevented USC from getting any clear shots, while its offense proved unstoppable. UCLA took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter behind goals from Kelly Heuchan, Serela Kay and Ashley Stachowski. With seven seconds remaining in the first quarter, USC freshman Katrin Dierolf converted on a six-on-five opportunity after UCLA's Kristin Guerin was ejected. But UCLA was undaunted. In the second quarter, the Bruins erupted with four goals and held USC scoreless, taking a 7-1 lead at the half. In the second half, both teams registered three goals, but UCLA had already cushioned the win. The Bruins' defensive efforts were led by freshman goalkeeper Jaime Hipp, who pulled down 10 saves. USC keeper Suzannah Johnson had five saves.

In semifinal action, the Bruins defeated California 5-3 Saturday. In an intense and physical game which featured almost 20 ejections and a player from each side fouling out, sophomore All-American Elaine Zivich anchored the win for the Bruins after scoring four of UCLA's five goals. UCLA got off to a rocky start, falling behind 2-0 in the first quarter, but managed to fall within one at the half after Zivich blasted in two second-quarter goals. In the second half, UCLA held Cal scoreless while scoring three goals of its own. UCLA's defense was led by freshman goalkeeper Jaime Hipp, who pulled down nine saves.

Earlier in the tournament, UCLA defeated both Michigan and UC Davis by an identical score of 15-2.

The UCLA Dynasty: The national championship is the 103rd for UCLA, including 82 NCAA titles. On Saturday, the men's volleyball team won the school's 102nd national championship and 82nd NCAA crown. The title marks the fourth for the UCLA women's water polo program ('96, '97, '98, '00) and the first for Adam Krikorian as a head coach. Earlier this year, Krikorian and co-head coach Guy Baker celebrated the men's water polo program's sixth NCAA title, making it the third time in school history that both the men's and women's teams have won a title in the same academic year. Along with the men's and women's water polo crowns, UCLA has earned NCAA titles for the 1999-2000 academic year in women's track and field, women's gymnastics and, most recently, men's volleyball.

Tournament Honors: UCLA sophomore All-American Elaine Zivich was named Tournament Most Valuable Player, while senior Catharine von Schwarz, freshman Jessica Lopez and freshman goalkeeper Jaime Hipp earned second team accolades.

Elaine Zivich Selected MET-RX Player of the Week: Elaine Zivich, along with men's volleyball player Brandon Taliaferro, was selected the MET-Rx UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of May 1-7 after leading the women's water polo team to a national championship. Zivich earned tournament MVP honors and totaled 10 goals in the tournament, including four in the Bruins' 5-3 semifinal win over California. The All-American attacker earned first-team All-National Collegiate Tournament honors for the second consecutive year.

Four for Four: Senior captain Catharine von Schwarz closed out her tenure at UCLA by winning her fourth national collegiate title in as many years, becoming the first UCLA female athlete ever to win four national team titles. The three-time All-American was a member of all four of UCLA's women's water polo national championship teams in 1996, '97, '98 and 2000. In 1999, the 5-8 set offense player redshirted the season in order to compete on the U.S. Women's National Team, which just last week qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. von Schwarz looks to be among one of the 11 players selected to compete for the United States this summer.

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