Women's Water Polo Heads To Indiana For Collegiate Nationals

May. 1, 2000

National Collegiate Championships: The third-ranked and second-seeded UCLA women's water polo team (26-5 overall, 8-1 MPSF) eared an automatic berth to the Collegiate Championships after finishing second at the Southern California Western Regional Qualification Tournament two weeks ago. The Bruins will travel to Indiana, site of the 2000 Collegiate Championships held from May 5-7, to contend for their fourth national title. Last year, the three-time defending national champions placed third after defeating Cal 6-5 in sudden death overtime.

On Friday, May 5, games will be played concurrently at the IU Natorium in Indianapolis and at the Counsilman/Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington. On Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, all matches will be held in Indianapolis.

UCLA is slated to meet No. 16 Michigan on Friday at 8 am in Bloomington. All-time, UCLA is 2-0 in the series against Michigan, with the Bruins handing the Wolverines a 15-5 loss when they last met in 1998. Following its match against Michigan, UCLA will likely meet the winner of the UC Davis/Long Beach State match at 3 pm. Further matchups and game times are dependent upon the results of Friday's games.

Participating schools include (in order of seed): Stanford, UCLA, California, USC, San Jose State, San Diego State, UC Davis, Princeton, Hawai'i, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, UMass, Loyola, Indiana, Michigan and Harvard.

UCLA at the SoCal Regionals: At the Southern California Western Regional Tournament, the Bruins went 3-1, dominating Cal Baptist and Long Beach State before falling 9-7 to defending national champion USC in the first place match. Golaboski was named to the all-tournament first team, while Lopez and Zivich earned second-team acclaim.

Five Bruins Earn All-MPSF Honors: Five Bruins were named to the MPSF All-Conference team on April 10, including first-team selection Catharine von Schwarz. von Schwarz, who redshirted last year in order to compete with the U.S. Women's National Team, has been a part of UCLA's three national championship teams in 1996, '97 and '98. Upon her return to UCLA this year, the three-time All-American made an immediate impact, registering 35 goals, which currently ranks fifth on the team.

Sophomore Elaine Zivich and senior Erin Golaboski both picked up second-team accolades. Last year's leading-scorer, Zivich is currently ranked second on the team with 44 goals. Golaboski made her return to the field this season after serving as the starting goalkeeper on last year's squad. She currently ranks fourth on the team with 39 goals.

Sophomore transfer Kelly Heuchan and freshman Jessica Lopez earned honorable mention honors. Heuchan, who transferred from the University of Western Australia, is the team's leading-scorer with 52 goals. Lopez is the team's third leading-scorer with 41 goals.

UCLA in the Polls: UCLA is currently tied for third with USC in the latest edition of the U.S. Water Polo poll, which was released on April 26.

Several Bruins to Compete in Sydney Olympics: Several former and current Bruins will compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia as members of the USA Women's Water Polo National Team. The U.S. Team, which is coached by UCLA head coach Guy Baker, qualified for the Sydney Olympics on April 30 after a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Hungary at the World Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament in Palermo, Sicily. The UCLA Olympians include: four-time All-American Nicolle Payne, two-time U.S. Water Polo Player of the Year Coralie Simmons, All-American Robin Beauregard and three-time All-American Catharine von Schwarz. This is the inaugural year for women's water polo in the Olympic Games. The six-team Olympic field is now complete and consists of Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia and USA.

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