April 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's water polo team enters the 2010 MPSF Tournament as the No. 5-seed and will face No. 4-seed Hawai'i in first-round action Friday, April 30, at 3 p.m. UCLA will serve as the tournament host this weekend, with all matches being played at the Bruins' first-year Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA will offer live audio broadcasts online (available at uclabruins.com) of the Bruins' first-round match against Hawai'i, both semifinal matches Saturday and the tournament's championship game on Sunday afternoon.
Friday, April 30
10:00 a.m. - Game 1 - No. 2-seed USC vs. No. 7-seed San Diego State
11:30 a.m. - Game 2 - No. 3-seed California vs. No. 6-seed San Jose State
1:30 p.m. - Game 3 - No. 1-seed Stanford vs. No. 8-seed Arizona State
3:00 p.m. - Game 4 - No. 4-seed Hawaii vs. No. 5-seed UCLA
Saturday, May 1
10:00 a.m. - Game 5 - Losers Game 3 & 4
11:30 a.m. - Game 6 - Losers Game 1 & 2
1:30 p.m. - Game 7 - Winners Game 3 & 4 (Semifinal)
3:00 p.m. - Game 8 - Winners Game 1 & 2 (Semifinal)
Sunday, May 2
10:00 a.m. - Game 9 - Losers Game 5 & 6 (7th Place)
11:30 a.m. - Game 10 - Winners Game 5 & 6 (5th Place)
1:30 p.m. - Game 11 - Losers Game 7 & 8 (3rd Place)
3:00 p.m. - Game 12 - Winners Game 7 & 8 (1st Place)
COVERING THE TOURNAMENT
Any media members interested in covering games at the 2010 MPSF Tournament should contact Ryan Finney (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than Thursday, April 29. Parking is available to the general public in the Sunset Village Parking Lot, just south of the tennis courts which are adjacent to the south side of Spieker Aquatics Center. For updated results of the tournament during the weekend, visit the MPSF Tournament website by clicking here.
The Bruins enter the MPSF Tournament having gone 1-1 in two matches this season against No. 4-seed Hawai'i, UCLA's first opponent at this weekend's conference tournament. The Bruins registered a 9-8 victory in the second game on day one (Feb. 6) of the Stanford Invitational. UCLA dropped a 9-8 decision in six overtimes in the two schools' MPSF regular-season meeting on March 6 in Honolulu. Kelly Easterday led UCLA with four goals in the 9-8, six-overtime loss and added one goal in UCLA's victory against Hawai'i.
Last season, UCLA finished third at the MPSF Tournament in Honolulu, dropping an 11-10 decision in overtime to Stanford in a semifinal match before rebounding with an 8-7 win over California in the third-place game. The Bruins last won the MPSF Tournament title in 2008, defeating USC by an 8-7 margin in the championship match. UCLA has won the MPSF Tournament six times since its inception in 1997 (titles from 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008).
On a 28-person roster devoid of any seniors, juniors Priscilla Orozco and Grace Reynolds have stepped up in 2010 as the Bruins' top two scoring threats, respectively. Orozco enters this weekend's conference tournament having scored 33 goals, while Reynolds has netted 30 goals in her first season as a Bruin. In her third season playing for UCLA, Orozco has registered 100 career goals in 88 matches. Orozco has netted 16 goals through UCLA's last seven games, scoring at least one goal in each of those matches.
Two players have secured MPSF Player of the Week honors for UCLA this season. Sophomore Caitlin Dement was named the conference's player of the week after recording a career-high 22 saves in an 8-3 win over UC Davis at Sonoma State on Feb. 21. Junior Priscilla Orozco earned her first career player of the week award on March 15, scoring eight goals in two victories. In addition, freshman Emily Greenwood was named MPSF Newcomer of the Week on March 15, after scoring four goals in two wins.
UCLA has received at least 13 goals or more from each of nine players this season. After leading scorers Priscilla Orozco (33 goals) and Grace Reynolds (30 goals), junior Kelly Easterday and sophomore KK Clark are tied for third on the team with 20 goals. Sophomore Sarah Orozco ranks fifth on the squad with 18 goals. In all, the Bruins have netted at least two goals from each of 15 players. Priscilla Orozco has tallied 11 multiple-goal games, while Reynolds has collected 10 multiple-goal efforts.
UCLA played consecutive games (Feb. 28 and March 6) that featured prolonged overtime sessions. The Bruins secured a 7-6 win in eight overtimes against California on Feb. 28. That match stands as the longest game in the history of NCAA women's water polo. One week later, the Bruins dropped a 9-8 decision at Hawai'i in a conference match in six overtimes. Neither team scored in each of the first two three-minute overtime sessions (prior to sudden death), before Hawai'i broke an 8-8 tie in the sixth extra period.
AT THE HELM
Leading a young UCLA team stocked with talented newcomers is first-year head coach Brandon Brooks. A four-year men's water polo letterwinner at UCLA (1999-2002), Brooks was named the second head coach in program history last June. A two-time USA Olympian and silver-medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, Brooks spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach on the men's and women's coaching staffs at UCLA. Brooks also welcomes former UCLA standout Molly Cahill as an assistant coach this spring.
UCLA currently presides as five-time defending NCAA champions. In that unprecedented five-year span, the Bruins have logged a 148-12 record (.925 winning percentage). Along the way, the Bruins have posted two perfect 33-0 records (including 12-0 marks in MPSF play). UCLA initiated its five-year run with a 33-0 finish in 2005 and duplicated that effort by going 33-0 in 2008.
IN THE CAGE
The Bruins' 2010 roster features three talented goalkeepers - sophomores Caitlin Dement, and Kristen Simonds and junior Morgan Ronimus. Dement has started 23 of UCLA's 24 matches this season. The Chino, Calif., resident has recorded 208 saves in 772:30 minutes, posting a 6.52 goals against average in the cage. Dement made a career-high 22 saves at UC Davis on Feb. 21. Dement's 9.09 saves per game average ranks third-highest among MPSF goalkeepers.