March 2, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team plays two matches at Arizona State on Saturday. The Bruins face No. 7 Arizona State in an MPSF contest at 11 a.m. (PT) before taking on Cal Baptist at 12:30 p.m. (PT). Both games will be played at Arizona State's Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.
Saturday, March 5
No. 3 UCLA (16-3, 0-1 MPSF) at No. 7 Arizona State (4-6, 0-1 MPSF)
11 a.m. (PT)/12 p.m. (MT) at ASU's Mona Plummer Aquatic Center
No. 3 UCLA (16-3) vs. Cal Baptist (9-5)
12:30 p.m. (PT)/1:30 p.m. (MT) at ASU's Mona Plummer Aquatic Center
Senior Priscilla Orozco has captured MPSF Player of the Week honors each of the last three weeks. Most recently, she scored a team-leading 12 goals in UCLA's four matches at the UC Irvine Invitational last weekend. Orozco netted five goals in a semifinal loss to USC before adding a team-high four goals in UCLA's 7-6 win over Hawai'i in the tournament's third place match. She has also been honored as the conference's player of the week on Feb. 14 and on Feb. 28.
Freshman goalkeeper Sami Hill has secured MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors twice in the last three weeks, following strong efforts in the cage for UCLA. Most recently, Hill collected 37 saves in four matches (14 quarters) at the UC Irvine Invitational to help lead the Bruins to a third-place finish. She recorded eight saves in the third-place match against Hawai'i after tying her season high with 12 saves in a 9-8 semifinal loss to USC.
Through games played on Sunday, Feb. 27, senior Priscilla Orozco leads the MPSF with 43 goals and also leads all conference field players with a 2.26 goals per game average. Orozco, a senior from Commerce, Calif., has scored at least one goal in each of the Bruins' 19 matches this season. Junior KK Clark is second on the team with 30 goals and has scored an average of 1.58 goals per match (which ranks 16th among all MPSF field players).
UCI INVITE RECAP
UCLA finished third at the UC Irvine Invitational last weekend, securing victories against UC Davis (14-4) and Loyola Marymount (6-5) on Saturday. 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. 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 three weeks ago, 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 matches against Arizona State and Cal Baptist with a 16-3 mark. 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 last Thursday, losing in overtime to Hawai'i, 8-6.
Through 19 matches, at least eight players have registered 10 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way (43) and is followed by junior KK Clark (30), who has scored in all but two matches for UCLA. Sophomore Emily Greenwood is third on the team with 15 goals, having scored twice in UCLA's 8-6 overtime loss to Hawai'i on Feb. 24. Senior Kelly Easterday and sophomore Brooke Martin each have scored 14 goals, while senior Grace Reynolds and junior Sarah Orozco have netted 12.
ON THE HORIZON
After UCLA's pair of games at Arizona State this weekend, UCLA will have six regualr season matches remaining (including five MPSF games). The Bruins return home for an MPSF match against California on Saturday, March 12, before a two week hiatus in the regular-season schedule. After the game at California, UCLA will not play until Saturday, March 26, at Stanford.
IN THE CAGE
Freshman Sami Hill leads UCLA with 85 saves in 10 games (nine starts). A two-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week selection this season, Hill has posted a 5.94 goals against average. Junior Caitlin Dement has tallied 79 saves in 11 starts, having logged a 5.66 goals against average. Through matches played on Sunday, Feb. 27, Dement ranks fourth in the MPSF with a 5.66 goals against average.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, March 2, UCLA has been ranked No. 3 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and USC are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Hawai'i checks in at No. 4 and California is ranked No. 5. Loyola Marymount, Arizona State, Michigan, San Diego State and San Jose State round out the top 10 selections.
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.