April 5, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team will host crosstown rival No. 3 USC on Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Center. Game time is 1 p.m. Admission to Saturday's game against USC costs $7 for adults and $5 for youth (16 and under). UCLA students can earn free admission to this weekend's game with their BruinCard.
THIS WEEK'S GAME
No. 3 USC (15-4, 3-2) at No. 4 UCLA (19-5, 2-3)
Saturday, April 9 at 1 p.m.
at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center
LISTEN LIVE ONLINE
Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast of this Saturday's crosstown showdown between UCLA and USC at uclabruins.com (click here for the broadcast). Each of the Bruins' final three regular-season matches will feature a live audio broadcast, free of charge on uclabruins.com.
SERIES VERSUS USC
UCLA leads the all-time series against USC by a 38-18 tally. The Women of Troy have defeated the Bruins in both previous meetings this season. USC earned a 10-8 victory at the Stanford Invitational on Feb. 5 and held off a furious UCLA rally in a semifinal match at the UCI Invitational on Feb. 27 to win, 9-8. Priscilla Orozco scored eight goals, combined, in those two previous games against USC.
The Bruins downed San Jose State on the road, 9-4, last Saturday to improve their record to 19-5 overall, and 2-3 in MPSF action. Grace Reynolds led UCLA with three goals, while KK Clark and Brooke Martin each netted two goals. One week prior to the win over San Jose State, UCLA dropped a 5-2 decision in an MPSF contest at Stanford.
In a competitive conference field, UCLA has gone 2-3 and currently is tied for fifth place in the MPSF standings with San Jose State. California leads the MPSF race with a 5-0 mark, while Stanford is second at 4-0. USC and Hawai'i are each 3-2, with the Women of Troy owning the tiebreak advantage by virtue of a 5-4 overtime win in Honolulu (March 18). San Diego State (1-4) and Arizona State (0-6) round out the conference's eight teams. The 2011 MPSF Tournament will be hosted by San Jose State.
Senior Priscilla Orozco captured MPSF Player of the Week honors on three consecutive weeks (Feb. 14, 21 and 28). Orozco earned the conference's weekly honors on Feb. 28 after having scored a team-leading 12 goals in UCLA's four matches at the UC Irvine Invitational (Feb. 26-27). She has tallied five goals in two games this season - against UC Irvine (Feb. 19) and USC (Feb. 27) at the UCI Invitational.
Among the top scorers among MPSF players, senior Priscilla Orozco and junior KK Clark enter this weekend's game against USC as the Bruins' top two scorers. Orozco scored in each of UCLA's first 19 matches and currently ranks eighth in the MPSF in goals scored per game (1.83). Clark is 15th in goals per game (1.46) among MPSF field players and has scored in 20 matches.
Nearing the end of the team's schedule, UCLA has three regular-season matches remaining before playing at the MPSF Tournament. Each of UCLA's final three contests will be played at Spieker Aquatics Center. Following this Saturday's showdown against USC, the Bruins will host Loyola Marymount on Thursday, April 14 and San Diego State on Saturday, April 16.
Less than one month away, the MPSF Tournament will take place April 29-May 1 at San Jose State. All eight MPSF teams advance to the conference tournament, whereby the winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This year's NCAA Tournament will take place the weekend of May 13-15 at Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
UCLA won the Triton Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 13, recording four victories in two days. The Bruins outlasted Santa Clara (11-2) and Hartwick (12-4) on Feb. 12 before registering consecutive victories over San Diego State (8-7) and Loyola Marymount (12-9) on Feb. 13. Senior Priscilla Orozco and sophomore Brooke Martin each led UCLA with seven goals, while senior Noel Umphrey added six goals.
Through 24 games, at least 10 players have registered 10 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way (44) and is followed by junior KK Clark (35), who has scored in all but four matches. Senior Grace Reynolds is third on the team with 20 goals, and sophomore Emily Greenwood ranks fourth with 17. Senior Kelly Easterday and sophomore Brooke Martin have each tallied 16.
IN THE CAGE
Junior Caitlin Dement leads the Bruins with 112 saves in 16 games (16 starts). Dement leads the team with a 5.31 goals against average, which currently ranks third among MPSF goalkeepers. Sami Hill, a two-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week honoree this spring, has posted a 5.76 goals against average, sixth-lowest in the MPSF. Hill has tallied 103 saves in 13 games (eight starts).
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, March 30, UCLA is ranked No. 4 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and California are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while USC checks in at No. 3. Hawai'i is ranked No. 5, while Loyola Marymount, Michigan, San Jose State, Arizona State and Long Beach State round out the nation's top-10 ranked teams.
AT THE HELM
Second-year head coach Brandon Brooks was a four-year Bruin letterwinner (1999-2002) and a 2005 graduate of UCLA. Last season, he helped lead the Bruins to a 22-8 record and MPSF Tournament title in his first season as head coach. Brooks represented the United States on the men's national team at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, leading Team USA to the silver medal in 2008.