Jan. 23, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's water polo team opens its 2008 season at the Michigan Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27. The Bruins begin tournament play against Arizona State and Colorado State in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday.
Saturday, Jan. 26
No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 11 Arizona State - 6:15 a.m. (PT)
No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 14 UC San Diego - 11:30 a.m. (PT)
Sunday, Jan. 27
No. 1 UCLA vs. Colorado State - 8:30 a.m. (PT)
No. 1 UCLA vs. Indiana - 12:00 p.m. (PT)
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 in 1995, the Bruins have captured nine national championships.
TOP RANKED: UCLA has earned the No. 1 preseason ranking. Conference foes USC, Stanford, Hawaii and California round 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 unanimous No. 1 selection, garnering all 100 points in the preseason rankings.
WHO'S BACK: Entering the 2008 season, the Bruins return 11 letterwinners and welcome 12 newcomers. UCLA's five seniors have been a part of the program's last three NCAA Championships. Four juniors have helped UCLA win each of the past two NCAA titles. UCLA also returns one sophomore.
HOME SWEET HOME: UCLA will play nine matches at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center this spring, opening with Hartwick on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The Bruins will not return home until the weekend of March 8-9, when they will face Stanford and San Jose State on back-to-back afternoons. One month later, UCLA will host six games in a 12-day span, beginning with a crucial MPSF contest against California.
OFFENSIVE DEPTH: The 2008 Bruins welcome back five of six top returning scorers from last season's team. Senior Jillian Kraus (54) and junior Katie Rulon (52) finished the 2007 season as the Bruins' second and third-leading scorers. Junior Tanya Gandy (38) and seniors Brittany Rowe (34) and Gabrielle Domanic (32) rounded out the Bruins' top six scorers. The 2007 scoring leader, Kelly Rulon, netted 70 goals in her senior season.
IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen assumes starting goalkeeping duties in 2008. Fullen, who contributed as a back-up goalkeeper to Emily Feher the past two seasons, recorded a 2.90 goals against average in 11 games (30 quarters) in 2007. As a freshman in 2006, Fullen netted a 3.11 goals against average. In two seasons, the San Clemente, Calif., resident has totaled 69 saves (39 in 2007, 30 in 2006).
AT THE HELM: In his 10th season as head coach of the women's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 229-38 career record at UCLA. Krikorian has helped guide the women's water polo program to six national championships, five of which are NCAA titles. Krikorian also serves as the UCLA men's water polo head coach and has led that program to three NCAA championships in nine years at the helm. Krikorian played water polo at UCLA, helping lead the 1995 men's water polo team to its first NCAA title since 1972.
NATIONAL WOMEN'S WATER POLO POLL - WEEK 1
|6||San Diego State||77|
|7||San Jose State||72|
|13||Long Beach State||39|
|14||UC San Diego||32|
|16||UC Santa Barbara||25|
|17||Cal State Northridge||22|
|20||Cal State Bakersfield||5|