Top-Seeded UCLA Seeks Fourth Consecutive NCAA Title

May 6, 2008

Adam Krikorian Interview

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Friday, May 9 (Day One)
Game 1 - 1:30 p.m. - (2) Stanford v. (7) Marist
Game 2 - 3:15 p.m. - (3) USC v. (6) Michigan
Game 3 - 5:00 p.m. - (1) UCLA v. (8) Pomona-Pitzer
Game 4 - 6:45 p.m. - (4) San Diego St. v. (5) UC Davis

Saturday, May 10 (Day Two)
Game 5- 12:30 p.m. - Loser G1 v. Loser G2
Game 6 - 2:15 p.m. - Loser G3 vs. Loser G4
Game 7 - 4:00 p.m. - Winner G3 vs. Winner G4
Game 8 - 5:45 p.m. - Winner G1 vs. Winner G2

Sunday, May 11 (Day Three)
Game 9 - 12:30 p.m. - Loser G5 v. Loser G6 (7th place game)
Game 10 - 2:15 p.m. - Winner G5 v. Winner G6 (5th Place Game)
Game 11 - 4:00 p.m. - Loser G7 v. Loser G8 (3rd Place Game)
Game 12 - 6:00 p.m. - Winner G7 v. Winner G8 (Championship Game)

all games at Avery Aquatic Center (Stanford, CA); game times Pacific

THIS WEEKEND: UCLA enters the NCAA Tournament as the top seed after posting a perfect 30-0 mark in the regular season. The Bruins will open the tournament on Friday, May 9 against eighth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer (17-11) at 5 pm. The winner of that match will play the winner of the San Diego State (29-6, No. 4 seed)/UC Davis (26-8, No. 5 seed) match on Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m.

On the other side of the bracket, Stanford (25-4, No. 2 seed) plays Marist (27-7, No. 7 seed) in the first round at 1:30 pm, while USC (19-7, No. 3 seed) plays Michigan (33-9, No. 6 seed) at 3:15 pm.

All games will take place at the Avery Aquatic Center on the Stanford University campus.

RADIO/TV: will provide a free audio broadcast of all UCLA games at the NCAA Tournament. Providing the call will be Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer. The Championship game on Sunday, May 11 will be televised live on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) at 6 pm.

LOOKING FOR A FOUR-PEAT: The three-time defending NCAA Champion Bruins are seeking an unprecedented four-peat and their 10th national women's water polo title. Since the first NCAA Championship in 2001, UCLA has won five of the seven titles (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007), with only Stanford in 2002 and USC in 2004 being able to break the stranglehold UCLA has on the NCAA trophy. Prior to women's water polo becoming an NCAA-sanctioned championship, UCLA won national titles in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000.

WATER POLO HOPES TO JOIN RARE COMPANY: Only two UCLA teams have ever won four-straight NCAA titles - men's basketball with seven straight from 1967-73 and men's volleyball with four straight from 1981-84.

BRUINS SEEK ANOTHER PERFECT SEASON: The 2008 Bruins are looking to become only the third women's water polo team ever to record a perfect season. The 2005 UCLA team achieved a perfect 33-0 record in 2005, and USC went 29-0 in 2004.

UCLA NEARLY UNBEATABLE IN NCAA PLAY: UCLA holds an all-time record of 14-1 in the NCAA Tournament, with its lone loss coming to Stanford, 8-4, in the 2002 NCAA Championship game at USC. The Bruins have won 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament games.

NOTHING BUT SUCCESS: Each returning player on the 2008 Bruin roster is undefeated in NCAA Tournament play, with the senior class of Kamaile Crowell, Gabrielle Domanic, Jillian Kraus, Courtney Mathewson and Brittany Rowe owning three NCAA titles and a perfect 9-0 mark. If the Bruins win a fourth-straight title, that senior class would join Kelly Rulon (2003-07) as the only UCLA women in any sport ever to win four NCAA team titles.

NCAA SCORERS: UCLA has eight players on its roster who have scored in the NCAA Tournament, led by seniors Gabrielle Domanic and Courtney Mathewson, who each have 11 career NCAA goals. Close behind is Jillian Kraus, with eight goals in NCAA Tournament play. Also with goals are Brittany Rowe and Tanya Gandy (five each), Anne Belden and Katie Rulon (three each), and Kamaile Crowell (two). Goalkeeper Brittany Fullen has played in one NCAA Tournament game, making two saves in a 22-0 first-round victory over Pomona-Pitzer in 2007.

COURTNEY IN THE CLUTCH: In each of the last two seasons, Bruin senior Courtney Mathewson has scored the winning goal in the NCAA Championship game. In 2006, she scored with one second remaining to give UCLA a 9-8 victory over USC. In 2007, her third goal of the game gave UCLA a 5-3 lead over Stanford and proved to be the game-winner as the Bruins held on to win, 5-4.

FIRST TO 101?: Last season, the women's water polo team gave UCLA its 100th NCAA title, setting off a year-long celebration as the university recognized its accomplishment of becoming the first in the nation to win 100 NCAA titles. UCLA could be the first to 101 with another title this weekend.

UCLA VS. TOURNAMENT FIELD: UCLA is 7-0 against the NCAA Tournament field and has outscored those opponents by a combined total of 74-37. The Bruins are 1-0 against Michigan (16-0 on Feb. 9), 3-0 against USC (8-4 on Feb. 10, 8-7 on Mar. 14 and 8-7 on Apr. 27), 2-0 against Stanford (8-7 in sudden victory overtime on Feb. 24 and 9-7 on Mar. 8), and 1-0 against San Diego State (17-5 on Apr. 12).

The Bruins lead the all-time series with all of the NCAA Tournament schools. UCLA is 25-24 against Stanford, 35-12 against USC, 29-3 against San Diego State, 12-1 against UC Davis, 5-0 against Michigan and 2-0 against Pomona-Pitzer. UCLA and Marist have never faced each other.

In NCAA Tournament action, UCLA is 5-1 against Stanford, 2-0 against USC, and 1-0 against Pomona-Pitzer.

BACK TO THE FARM: UCLA returns to the Avery Aquatic Center on the Stanford campus for the second time this year. UCLA swept through the Stanford Invitational in early February, going 4-0 and outscoring its opponents 51-21 to take the tournament victory.

NCAAS RETURN TO STANFORD: Stanford is hosting the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships for the third time. UCLA won the inaugural NCAA Championship at Stanford in 2001, defeating Loyola Marymount in the semifinals, 11-1, and downing the host team by a score of 5-4 in the championship game. In 2004, USC won the tournament with a 10-8 victory over LMU, who upset Stanford in the semifinals. UCLA, whose top four players redshirted that year to play with the Olympic team, did not make it to the four-team tournament despite a 22-5 overall record.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: The Bruins' scoring average of 12.4 goals per game (372 goals/30 games) rank third on UCLA's all-time single-season list ... Several Bruins have made their way into the Bruins' all-time goal-scoring list. Jillian Kraus is now fourth with 175 goals, while Katie Rulon is sixth with 137 goals. Close behind in eighth place are Gabrielle Domanic and Brittany Rowe with 132 goals apiece ... Rulon's 58 goals rank 10th on UCLA's single-season charts ... Brittany Fullen's 219 saves rank second on UCLA's single-season saves list. She needs just six more saves to tie the school record set by Nicolle Payne in 1998 (225) ... Fullen has 288 career saves, which rank fourth on UCLA's career list.

CUTINO AWARD FINALISTS: Seniors Jillian Kraus and Courtney Mathewson are amongst the three finalists for the 2008 Peter J. Cutino Award, which will be presented on June 7 to the outstanding female and male collegiate water polo players in the United States. Lauren Silver of Stanford is the other finalist. Kraus ranks in the top-10 in the MPSF with 54 goals (1.80 goals per game) entering this weekend's NCAA Tournament. She has scored at least one goal in 28 of 30 matches and began the season having scored in each of the first 13 games. Mathewson, who was the MVP of the MPSF Tournament, has scored 50 goals in 30 matches and has netted at least one goal in 26 of the Bruins' 30 games this spring.

BRUINS HONORED BY MPSF: UCLA seniors Jillian Kraus and Courtney Mathewson were honored as the 2008 MPSF Co-Players of the Year, and head coach Adam Krikorian was named the league's Co-Coach of the Year. Receiving All-MPSF honors were second-team honoree Brittany Fullen and honorable mention selections Brittany Rowe, Katie Rulon and Tanya Gandy. Priscilla Orozco and Kelly Easterday were named to the MPSF All-Freshman team.

BACK-TO-BACK MPSF CHAMPIONS: UCLA won its second-straight MPSF Championship on Apr. 27 with an 8-7 win over USC. The Bruins also beat San Jose State (12-1) and Hawaii (8-6) in the tournament. UCLA has now won a total of seven MPSF titles.

ONE OF A KIND: The Bruins recently completed the fourth perfect MPSF regular season (12-0) since the inception of NCAA women's water polo in 2001. UCLA also accomplished the feat in 2005, en route to capturing the program's seventh national championship (third NCAA title).

BEST START SINCE: UCLA has won all 30 of its matches this season and currently boasts a 38-game win streak. The Bruins' last loss came back on April 14, 2007, when Stanford downed UCLA, 7-6. In 2005, the Bruins finished the season with a perfect 33-0 record.

WEEKLY DEAL: UCLA earned seven MPSF Player of the Week selections in 13 weeks. Honored this season were seniors Brittany Rowe, Courtney Mathewson and Jillian Kraus, in addition to juniors Katie Rulon (three times) and Brittany Fullen.

TOPS ALL AROUND: Among MPSF teams, the Bruins are averaging the most goals per game (12.40) and fewest goals allowed per match (5.07). Brittany Fullen has logged the third-lowest goals against average, posting a 4.77 mark in 30 matches. Katie Rulon has scored a team-leading 58 goals, averaging 1.93 goals per game.

IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen has logged a 4.77 goals against average in all 30 matches, posting two shutouts. Fullen has recorded 219 saves, playing a total of 937:53. She tallied a career-high 15 saves against Stanford on Feb. 24 and is just six saves away from tying the school record of 225, set by Nicolle Payne in 1998.

REGULAR SCORERS: Senior Jillian Kraus has scored at least one goal in 28 of the team's 30 matches this season. Kraus scored in each of the first 13 matches. Senior Courtney Mathewson has registered at least one goal in 19 of the last 20 (39 goals in that span) and has scored in 26 of 30 regular-season games.

QUICK STARTERS: UCLA is outscoring its opponents by a 114-27 clip in the first quarter. The Bruins have only trailed in three games this year - in the second overtime against Stanford on Feb. 24, early in the second quarter against Hawaii on Apr. 26, and midway through the fourth quarter against USC on Apr. 27.

IMPRESSIVE RECORD: The Bruins have logged a record of 120-6 since the 2005 season. UCLA cruised to the 2005 NCAA title with a 33-0 record. In 2006, the Bruins finished 29-4, capping the season with their second consecutive NCAA championship. Last spring, UCLA went 28-2 after winning the MPSF and NCAA titles. The Bruins enter the NCAA Tournament with a 30-0 record.

BAY AREA BRUINS: Five Bruin players call the Bay Area home - Melissa Mordell (Portola Valley/Sacred Heart Prep), Monica Powers (Clayton/Carondelet HS), Megan Burmeister (Menlo Park/Menlo HS), Camy Sullivan (Los Altos/Menlo HS) and Kelsey Hafferkamp (Piedmont/Piedmont HS). Bruin head coach Adam Krikorian is from the Bay Area as well, growing up in Mountain View (Mountain View HS). Assistant coach Sam Bailey also has Bay Area ties, having served as an assistant coach on the Stanford men's water polo staff in 2005.

TOP RANKED: UCLA has maintained the No. 1 ranking all season. Conference foes USC, Stanford, Hawaii and California rounded out the preseason top five slots. The Golden Bears were followed by San Diego State, San Jose State, UC Davis, UC Irvine and Hartwick. The Bruins were a unanimous No. 1 selection, earning all 100 points (preseason).

AT THE HELM: In his 10th season as head coach of the women's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 259-38 career record. Krikorian has guided the women's water polo program to six national titles (five NCAA). He also serves as the UCLA men's water polo head coach, having led that program to three NCAA titles in nine years. Krikorian played water polo at UCLA, leading the 1995 men's water polo team to its first NCAA title since 1972. He has won a total of 13 national championships - nine as a head coach, three as an assistant coach and one as a student-athlete.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Apr 02
vs. San Jose State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 13 - 6
Sunday, Apr 03
vs. Redlands
Los Angeles, CA
W, 23 - 2
Sunday, Apr 03
vs. Pomona-Pitzer
Los Angeles, CA
W, 25 - 3
Saturday, Apr 09
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 5 - 8
Friday, Apr 15
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 16 - 6
Saturday, Apr 23
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
W, 9 - 8 (3OT)
Friday, Apr 29
at CSU Bakersfield
Bakersfield, CA
W, 10 - 3
Saturday, Apr 30
vs. Stanford
Bakersfield, CA
L, 3 - 6
Sunday, May 01
vs. California
Bakersfield, CA
W, 7 - 5
Friday, May 13
vs. UC San Diego
Los Angeles, CA
W, 17 - 4
Saturday, May 14
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
L, 4 - 7
Sunday, May 15
vs. Michigan
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 4