Feb. 4, 2004
The 2003 NCAA Champions and current No. 1 UCLA Bruins head to the Stanford Invitational this weekend to begin their 2004 season. The Invitational Tournament in which the Bruins are the top seed features a total of six teams that are currently in the Women's Collegiate Water Polo Top 20 Poll. UCLA is in Bracket A and will begin Tournament play on Saturday, February 7 at 12:00 PM vs. No. 9 Hawaii. No. 2 USC and No. 3 Stanford are in Bracket B.
About the Opponents: No. 9 Hawaii, No. 7 California, Santa Clara
The Bruins currently hold a perfect 16-0 all time record against Hawai'i and in the teams third meeting last season UCLA topped the Rainbow Wahine 12-3 in the quarterfinals of the MPSF Championships. The Bruins second game of the day on Saturday will be against the No. 7 California Golden Bears a team that UCLA has a 22-5 all-time record against. UCLA defeated Cal 6-1 in their only meeting last season. This will be the Bruins first meeting against Santa Clara.
2004 Season Outlook
It will be a new look this year for head Coach Adam Krikorian's 2004 women's water polo team. Coming off a 23-4 record and 2003 NCAA Championship this year's team must face the challenge of replacing seven seniors to graduation and four current players to the U.S. National Team. Composed entirely of freshmen and sophomores, youth will be served as UCLA looks to repeat as NCAA Champions.
"This team is young, no juniors or seniors, I've never experienced anything like this before, but at the same time because of their youth they are very willing to learn and to work hard and to improve. As long as the team continues to display these characteristics we are going to be fine. This team will improve and be right there at the end of the season for the chance to play for a national championship."
Head Coach Adam Krikorian on the upcoming season: "Even though we are missing players because of the National Team, our goal is still to win a national championship. However, the approach this season will not be to only focus on that ultimate goal, we need to try to improve every day in practice and make the most out of every practice and every game. There is no doubt that because of the youth and inexperience on this team that we are going to get tremendously better as the season progresses. What we need to do is improve so that by the end of the year we can put ourselves in the best possible position to win the conference tournament and get the opportunity to again win a National Championship."