Jan. 31, 2000
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA Bruins kick off the 2000 season this week when they head to Hawai'i to compete in the Hawai'i Tournament. On Friday, Feb. 4 the Bruins meet UC San Diego at 5:15 pm, Hawai'i time. The following day, UCLA battles UC Santa Barbara at 9 am and then later faces off against host Hawai'i at 6:30 pm.
About the Opponents:
UCLA is 10-3 in the series against UC San Diego, having lost all three games to the Tritons in the Bruins' first year in 1995. Last year UC San Diego placed twelfth at the Collegiate Nationals after losing to Long Beach State in the 11th-place game. The Tritons ended the season with a 12-17 record.
UC Santa Barbara closed out the '99 season with a 17-17 record, placing sixth at the Collegiate Nationals after falling to San Diego State in the fifth-place game. The Bruins own a 19-1 series advantage against the Gauchos, with their only loss coming in 1995.
The Rainbow Wahine of Hawai'i placed eighth last year at the Collegiate Nationals after dropping a 6-5 decision to UC Davis. Hawai'i, which wrapped up the '99 season with a 24-16 record, has not won a single match in its nine meetings with UCLA.
In the five years since women's water polo gained varsity status, UCLA has already established itself as a dynasty, earning three consecutive national titles and numerous accolades, including National Coach and Player of the Year acclaim. This season, UCLA hopes to usher in the new millenium by extending the dynasty's spoils and bringing home another national collegiate crown.
Indeed, UCLA certainly has the arsenal to meet these objectives. The 2000 Bruins boast perhaps the deepest squad the program has ever had.
One person who will definitely make a huge impact on the 2000 squad is team captain Catharine von Schwarz, who makes her return to the program after having redshirted last season to compete on the National Team. A 5-8 senior All-American, von Schwarz brings size, experience and knowledge to the team. Seniors Erin Golaboski, Serela Kay and Carly Herrera are also expected to step up their roles this season and help guide the younger players.
Golaboski, a two-time All-American, returns to the field this season after assuming the role of starting goalkeeper on last year's squad. With her return to the field, UCLA gains more size and strength and an even bigger offensive presence. Kay will also be expected to play a leading role on this year's squad and will be an important component of the six-on-five offense. Herrera has made tremendous improvements in her game and will be a vital part of the squad's defense, assuming the role as two-meter defender.
Junior playmaker Kristin Guerin, the other leftie on the squad who was last year's second-leading scorer, will be looked upon to create scoring opportunities for herself and others, especially on the counterattack. Sophomores Elaine Zivich and Jenny Lamb make their return to the roster after enjoying excellent seasons last year. Both will be counted on to contribute tremendously to the team's efforts. Zivich, a first team All-American and All-MPSF selection, led the team with 64 goals last season. Lamb, an honorable mention All-American selection, was the third-leading scorer last year. She will be looked upon to guard the two meter and also contribute offensively. Sophomore transfer Kelly Heuchan adds even more experience and athleticism to the roster, as she can play both the two meter offense and defense positions well.
Newcomers Jessica Lopez, Ashley Stachowski, Devon McIntyre and Maureen Flanagan will add crucial depth to the Bruin lineup.
The goalie postion this season will be between Jaime Hipp, Kelly Hall and Bryna Hubbs.
"All three have the potential to come in and play," Krikorian says. "They're all fighting for the starting job, and by doing so, they'll only get better."
With an abundance of talent on this year's roster, the 2000 Bruins anticipate another incredible season.