March 23, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team will play an MPSF match at No. 1 Stanford on Saturday afternoon. Game time at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center is 4 p.m. The Bruins (18-4, 1-2 MPSF) have not played against Stanford (16-0, 2-0 MPSF) this season.
Saturday, March 26
No. 4 UCLA (18-4, 1-2 MPSF) at No. 1 Stanford (16-0, 2-0 MPSF)
4 p.m. at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center
SERIES VERSUS STANFORD
UCLA looks to hand Stanford its first defeat of the 2011 season. The Cardinal enter this weekend's MPSF match with a spotless 16-0 overall record, including a 2-0 mark in MPSF games. One year ago, the Bruins went 1-2 against Stanford, earning a 7-6 victory over the Cardinal in a semifinal match of the MPSF Tournament.
BACK IN ACTION
The Bruins have not played since Saturday, March 12, when they dropped a 7-3 decision to No. 2 California at home. Prior to the game against the Golden Bears, UCLA earned one pair of victories at Arizona State on Saturday, March 5 (defeating Arizona State and Cal Baptist in Tempe, Ariz.). UCLA did not play the week of March 14-18 due to Winter Quarter final exams.
In a competitive conference field, UCLA has gone 1-2 and currently rests in a tie for fifth place in the MPSF standings. California leads the pack with a 4-0 mark, while Stanford is second at 2-0. USC has gone 3-1 and Hawaii has posted a 2-1 record. After UCLA and San Jose State are San DIego State (0-3) and Arizona State (0-4). The 2011 MPSF Tournament will be hosted by San Jose State.
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). She has tallied five goals in two games this season - against UC Irvine (Feb. 19) and USC (Feb. 27) at the UCI Invitational.
Goalkeeper Sami Hill and 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 March 5 to earn the weekly honor.
Through games played on Sunday, March 20, senior Priscilla Orozco ranks fifth among MPSF field players with 44 goals and is tied for fourth in the conference with a 2.00 goals per game average. Orozco has scored in 20 of the team's 22 games this season. Junior KK Clark is second on the team with 33 goals and has scored an average of 1.50 goals per match.
Including this Saturday's MPSF contest at Stanford, UCLA has five regular-season matches remaining this spring. Next weekend, the Bruins will play an MPSF game at San Jose State (April 2). The following week, UCLA returns home to host a conference contest against USC (April 9). The Bruins conclude the season at home against LMU (April 14) and San Diego State (April 16).
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.
Through 22 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 (33), who has scored in all but three matches for UCLA. Senior Grace Reynolds and sophomore Emily Greenwood are tied for third on the team with 17 goals. Senior Kelly Easterday and junior Sarah Orozco have each netted 15 goals.
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 95 saves in 14 starts, having logged a 5.55 goals against average. Through matches played on Sunday, March 20, Dement and Hill rank fifth and sixth, respectively in GAA in the MPSF.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, March 23, UCLA is ranked No. 4 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and California are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while USC checks in at No. 3. Hawai'i is ranked No. 5, while Loyola Marymount, Michigan, Arizona State, San Jose State and Long Beach State round out the nation's top-10 ranked teams.
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.