Jan. 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team kicks off its 2012 season at the Michigan Invitational this weekend. The Bruins will face Colorado State and Indiana on Saturday before playing against host Michigan on Sunday. UCLA will play its first seven games of the regular season away from home before hosting a non-conference game against Cal Baptist on Saturday, Feb. 11. Game time of this Saturday's season opener is 7:30 a.m. (PT)/10:30 a.m. (ET).
2012 Michigan Invitational Schedule
Saturday, Jan. 21 (times are Pacific)
7:30 a.m. - Colorado State vs. UCLA
9 a.m. - Indiana at Michigan
3 p.m. - Indiana vs. UCLA
4:30 p.m. - Colorado State at Michigan
Sunday, Jan. 22
6 a.m. - Colorado State vs. Indiana
7:15 a.m. - UCLA at Michigan
11 a.m. - Colorado State at Michigan
Who's Back for UCLA in 2012?
UCLA returns 15 letterwinners from its 2011 team, after having lost five significant contributors from last season's squad. Among the key returning players for UCLA include seniors KK Clark, Caitlin Dement and Sarah Orozco and juniors Emily Greenwood and Brooke Martin. Clark ranked second on the team with 50 goals last season, and Martin finished fourth with 23 goals. Dement served as UCLA's primary goalkeeper, logging a 5.68 goals against average.
One Year Ago at Michigan
UCLA has opened its season at the Michigan Invitational each of the last four years. Last January, the Bruins went 3-0 at the round-robin tournament, securing victories against Colorado State (15-6), Hartwick (17-3) and Michigan (6-5). KK Clark led the Bruins with seven goals in the three tournament matches.
Looking Down the Road
After the Michigan Invitational, the Bruins return to action at the Stanford Invitational in two weeks (Feb. 4-5). UCLA will face Hawaii and California on Saturday before playing two games (one against Michigan) on Sunday. The fourth and final game for each team is to be determined. Last season, UCLA went 3-1 at the Stanford Invitational.
2011 Season at a Glance
UCLA posted a 26-7 record in 2011, finishing in a three-way tie for third place in the MPSF standings with Hawaii and USC. The Bruins entered the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed before finishing second to California in that tournament. UCLA finished third at the NCAA Tournament, defeating crosstown rival USC, 6-5, in the third-place match at Michigan.
Bruins Return Award Winners
Two of UCLA's returning players, KK Clark and Caitlin Dement, earned postseason recognition in 2011. Clark and Dement each secured third-team ACWPC All-America acclaim, while Dement captured second-team All-MPSF honors for the second straight season.
UCLA's Schedule Breakdown
The Bruins will play four home matches at Spieker Aquatics Center this season, including key MPSF showdowns against San Jose State, Arizona State and Stanford. UCLA will compete in three in-season tournaments, including this weekend's Michigan Invitational. UCLA opens its home schedule against Cal Baptist on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m.
Bruins Welcome Seven Freshmen
UCLA's roster features five seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen. The Bruins' latest additions include goalkeeper Sarah Wilkey, utility player Shelby Couture and attackers Erica Beebe, Gabby Juarez, Brailey Hirose-Hulbert, Danielle Ferraro and Emily Donohoe.
Key Losses from Last Spring
The Bruins must replace two of their top three scorers from the 2011 squad. Priscilla Orozco led the Bruins with 58 goals during her senior campaign, and classmate Grace Reynolds ranked third on the team with 35 goals. On defense, UCLA will look to replace veterans Kelly Easterday and Megan Burmeister, two players who earned significant playing time all four seasons.
Brooks on Deck for Year Three
The Bruins are led by third-year head coach Brandon Brooks, who has compiled a 48-15 record in two seasons as UCLA's head coach. Brooks played for the UCLA men's water polo team from 1999-2002, starring as the team's goalkeeper for four seasons. Brooks helped UCLA capture the 1999 and 2000 NCAA titles. He also played for the USA National Team in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing.
UCLA Water Polo on Twitter
Fans can receive in-game updates of UCLA's home games in addition to weekly news and other updates about the UCLA men's and women's water polo programs on Twitter (UCLAWaterPolo).