April 2, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1-ranked UCLA women's water polo team hosts two MPSF matches this weekend, playing No. 6 California on Saturday and Pacific on Sunday. Game times of both matches are slated for 1 p.m.
The UCLA water polo program welcomes back its former players this weekend for a water polo reunion. Saturday's events begin with a water polo alumni game at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served for alumni and their families at noon, prior to that afternoon's 1 p.m. match against No. 6 California.
Following the women's water polo match, the alumni festivities move to Westwood Brewing Company (3 p.m.) for a men's basketball Final Four viewing party.
CRUISIN' IN CONFERENCE: UCLA has raced to an 8-0 start in MPSF play and has just four conference matches remaining on its regular-season schedule. After this weekend's pair of home games, the Bruins play San Diego State (April 12) and Arizona State (April 13) at home. The MPSF Tournament takes place at San Diego State from April 24-27.
A LOOK BACK: UCLA downed No. 4-ranked Hawai'i, 9-5, in Honolulu last week. Senior Courtney Mathewson led the Bruins with three goals, and junior Brittany Fullen registered 10 saves. UCLA used a 6-2 second-half surge on the road to defeat the Rainbow Wahine. Two weeks ago, UCLA defeated crosstown rival USC, 8-7, snapping the Trojans' streak of 42 consecutive home victories.
BEST START SINCE: UCLA has won all 22 matches this season, including eight MPSF contests. Equally impressive, the Bruins have won 30 consecutive matches dating back to last season. UCLA last lost a contest on April 14, 2007 (at Stanford, 7-6). The Bruins have equaled their best start since 2005, when UCLA went 33-0 en route to winning its first of three consecutive NCAA Championships.
WEEKLY DEAL: UCLA has garnered six MPSF Player of the Week selections in 10 weeks. Courtney Mathewson gained the weekly honor after scoring four goals at USC (March 14). Other honorees this season have included Brittany Rowe, Jillian Kraus, Katie Rulon (twice) and Brittany Fullen.
TOPS ALL AROUND: Aside from sitting atop the MPSF standings with an 8-0 mark, the Bruins are averaging the most goals scored per game (12.55) and fewest goals allowed per match (5.09). Senior Jillian Kraus is averaging 2.0 goals per game, the eighth-best average in the MPSF. Katie Rulon's 1.95 goals per game currently ranks ninth.
IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen has logged a 5.09 goals against average in all 22 matches, posting two shutouts. Fullen has logged 171 saves, having played all 88 quarters. Fullen tallied a career-high 15 saves against Stanford on Feb. 24.
REGULAR SCORERS: Senior Jillian Kraus has scored at least one goal in 21 of the team's 22 matches this season. Kraus scored in each of the first 13 matches. Senior Brittany Rowe currently boasts a 14-game scoring streak. Senior Courtney Mathewson has registered at least one goal in each of the last 12 games (22 goals in that span).
POSTSEASON: The 2008 MPSF Tournament will be hosted by San Diego State from April 24-27. Last spring, UCLA captured the MPSF Tournament title with a convincing 9-3 win over Stanford in the championship match. Stanford will host the 2008 NCAA Championships on May 9-11 at the Avery Aquatics Center (Palo Alto, Calif.).
TITLE DEFENSE: The Bruins have won each of the last three NCAA championships and claimed the MPSF Tournament title last spring. Last season's NCAA title marked UCLA's 100th NCAA team championship, making UCLA the first school to accomplish that feat. Since the sport's inception (1995), UCLA has won nine national championships, six as NCAA titles (first NCAA in 2001).
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 are 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).
HOME SWEET HOME: UCLA has six home matches remaining this season at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The Bruins return home this weekend to host California and Pacific. Next weekend, UCLA welcomes San Diego State, Sonoma State (April 12) and Arizona State (April 13) to campus.
AT THE HELM: In his 10th season as head coach of the women's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 250-38 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 championships in nine years. Krikorian played water polo at UCLA, helping lead the 1995 men's water polo team to its first NCAA title since 1972.