March 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team plays No. 2 California in an MPSF match at home on Saturday afternoon. Game time at Spieker Aquatics Center is slated for 1 p.m. The Bruins (18-3, 1-1 MPSF) have won their last three matches.
Saturday, March 12
No. 2 California (15-3, 3-0 MPSF) at No. 4 UCLA (18-3, 1-1 MPSF)
1 p.m. at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center
The Bruins won a pair of games at Arizona State last Saturday. UCLA defeated the host Sun Devils, 8-1, in an MPSF match before cruising past Cal Baptist, 17-5, at ASU's Mona Plummer Aquatic Center later that afternoon. With the victories, the Bruins improved their overall record to 18-3. Senior Grace Reynolds led UCLA with five goals in the pair of victories, scoring three against ASU.
UCLA and USC have each gone 1-1 in MPSF play. California (3-0), Hawai'i (2-0) and Stanford (1-0) rest in first place in the MPSF standings with undefeated records. San Diego State, San Jose State and Arizona State have each opened their conference schedules going 0-2. Five of UCLA's six remaining regular-season games will count toward the MPSF standings.
Senior Priscilla Orozco captured MPSF Player of the Week honors on three consecutive weeks (Feb. 14, 21 and 28). Orozco earned the conference's weekly honors on Feb. 28 after having scored a team-leading 12 goals in UCLA's four matches at the UC Irvine Invitational (Feb. 26-27). The resident of Commerce, Calif. has tallied five goals in two games this season - against UC Irvine (Feb. 19) and versus USC (Feb. 27) at the UCI Invitational.
Freshman goalkeeper Sami Hill and freshman utility player Becca Dorst have each secured MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors the past two weeks, respectively. Hill collected 37 saves in four matches at the UCI Invitational before being named the conference's Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 28. Dorst scored a team-leading four goals in a 17-5 win over Cal Baptist on Saturday, March 5, to earn the weekly honor on March 7.
Through games played on Sunday, March 6, senior Priscilla Orozco leads the MPSF with 44 goals and ranks third among the conference's field players with a 2.10 goals per game average. Orozco has scored in 20 of the team's 21 games this season. Junior KK Clark is second on the team with 32 goals and has scored an average of 1.52 goals per match (which ranks 17th among all MPSF field players).
UCI INVITE RECAP
UCLA finished third at the UC Irvine Invitational two weeks ago, securing victories against UC Davis (14-4) and Loyola Marymount (6-5) on Feb. 26. The Bruins' late rally against USC fell short in a semifinal match on Sunday morning (9-8), before UCLA earned a 7-6 win over Hawai'i in the tournament's third-place game that afternoon (Feb. 27). Senior Priscilla Orozco scored a team-high 12 goals in the four games, while sophomore Brooke Martin was second on the team with four goals.
UCLA won the Triton Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 13, recording four victories in two days. The Bruins outlasted Santa Clara (11-2) and Hartwick (12-4) on Feb. 12 before registering consecutive victories over San Diego State (8-7) and Loyola Marymount (12-9) on Feb. 13. Senior Priscilla Orozco and sophomore Brooke Martin each led UCLA with seven goals, while senior Noel Umphrey added six goals.
UCLA opened its schedule by winning 13 of its first 14 games. In all, the Bruins enter this weekend's match against California with an 18-3 record. UCLA won its first six matches of the season before suffering a 10-8 loss on the first day of the Stanford Invitational. The Bruins dropped their first MPSF contest of the season two weeks ago (Thursday, Feb. 24), losing in overtime to Hawai'i, 8-6.
Through 21 matches, at least eight players have registered 10 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way (44) and is followed by junior KK Clark (32), who has scored in all but three matches for UCLA. Senior Grace Reynolds is third on the team with 17 goals, having five goals five in the Bruins' two matches. Sophomore Emily Greenwood has collected 16 goals, fourth-most on the team.
IN THE CAGE
Freshman Sami Hill leads UCLA with 96 saves in 12 games (eight starts). A two-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week selection this season, Hill has posted a 5.64 goals against average. Junior Caitlin Dement has tallied 88 saves in 13 starts, having logged a 5.42 goals against average. Through matches played on Sunday, March 6, Dement ranks third in the MPSF with a 5.42 goals against average.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, March 9, UCLA is tied for the No. 4 ranking in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and California are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while USC checks in at No. 3. UCLA and Hawai'i are both ranked No. 4. Loyola Marymount, Arizona State, Michigan, San Diego State and San Jose State round out the top 10.
AT THE HELM
Second-year head coach Brandon Brooks was a four-year Bruin letterwinner (1999-2002) and a 2005 graduate of UCLA. Last season, he helped lead the Bruins to a 22-8 record and MPSF Tournament title in his first season as head coach. Brooks represented the United States on the men's national team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to the silver medal in 2008.