April 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES - UCLA has captured the No. 3 seed in the 2009 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship and will make its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance May 8-10 at the University of Maryland. The Bruins (22-6) will face No. 6 seed Michigan (33-8) in first-round action Friday, May 8.
The 2009 UCLA women's water polo team will make its eighth appearance in the nine-year history of the NCAA Championships. In the 15-year history of UCLA's program, the Bruins have won 10 national championships (six NCAA) and have advanced to the national tournament in 14 seasons.
In seven NCAA Tournament appearances, the Bruins have won six NCAA Championships, compiling a 17-1 cumulative record. UCLA has registered a combined 40-4 record in 13 trips to the annual national tournament.
UCLA defeated Michigan, 10-4, in Ann Arbor, Mich., during the Michigan Invitational on Jan. 25 (the Bruins' third game of their season). The Bruins' first-round match against Michigan is slated for 12:15 p.m. (PT) in College Park, Md., on May 8.
The No. 1 seed was awarded to USC (24-1). The Women of Troy will face No. 8 seed Cal Lutheran (19-12) on May 8. The winner of the UCLA-Michigan match will face either No. 2 Stanford (24-3) or No. 7 Marist (18-13) in a semifinal contest on May 9. The fourth first-round meeting features No. 4 Hawai'i (18-8) against No. 5 Loyola Marymount (24-7).
UCLA has been carried this season by the production of its four seniors - attackers Anne Belden, Tanya Gandy and Katie Rulon and veteran goalkeeper Brittany Fullen. Gandy currently leads the Bruins with 70 goals, having scored six goals over the weekend in the MPSF Tournament. She has pulled into a four-way second-place tie for most single-season goals in program history (tied with Kelly Rulon, who scored 70 goals in each of three seasons from 2005 through 2007).
Katie Rulon ranks second on the squad with 57 goals, and Belden and sophomore Priscilla Orozco have each added 40 goals for the Bruins. Freshman KK Clark has scored 28 goals, the fifth-highest total on the team.