Feb. 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team hosts its home opener against Cal Baptist on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Bruins have opened the season with six wins in seven matches. UCLA won its first six contests before dropping a 9-5 decision to Stanford in the championship match of the Stanford Invitational. KK Clark led UCLA with eight goals in four tournament matches.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Saturday, Feb. 11 - 6 p.m.
Cal Baptist (1-4) at No. 3 UCLA (6-1)
at UCLA Spieker Aquatics Center
ON DECK FOR THE BRUINS
Saturday, Feb. 18 - 12 p.m. (MPSF match)
No. 3 UCLA (6-1) at No. 9 San Diego State (5-0)
at SDSU's Aztec Aquaplex
Bruins Earn Big Wins Up North
UCLA went 3-1 in four matches at the Stanford Invitational last weekend, securing a pair of crucial victories against conference foes Hawaii and California. UCLA edged Hawaii, 6-5, and California, 4-3, in consecutive games on Saturday, Feb. 4. In addition, the Bruins cruised past Michigan, 10-3, on Sunday, Feb. 5.
KK Among MPSF's Top Scorers
Through matches played Sunday, Feb. 5, senior KK Clark leads UCLA with 18 goals and ranks second among MPSF field players with a 2.57 goals per match average. The senior from Atherton, Calif., has scored in all seven matches, netting two goals or more in six games. She earned MPSF Player of the Week honors after scoring 10 goals at the Michigan Invitational three weeks ago.
Bruins Impress on Defense
Backed by third-year starting goalkeeper Caitlin Dement, UCLA's defense has surrendered 5.29 goals per game, the lowest average among eight MPSF programs. The Bruins have limited their opposition to five goals or fewer in five of the team's first seven matches. UCLA allowed a season-low three goals in wins over California and Michigan at the Stanford Invitational.
Familiar Face Returns to UCLA
Former UCLA standout Priscilla Orozco will return to the pool deck at UCLA on Saturday, serving as an assistant coach for Cal Baptist. Orozco starred for the Bruins from 2008-2011, helping lead the Bruins to NCAA Championships her first two seasons. In four seasons at UCLA, she scored 165 career goals on 384 attempts.
Sophomore Duo Excels
Entering Saturday's match against Cal Baptist, sophomores Becca Dorst and Kelly Ronimus are the Bruins' second-leading scorers, having each netted eight goals in seven games. Dorst led UCLA with three goals in a 10-3 win last Sunday against Michigan. Ronimus has scored at least one goal in six of the team's seven matches. She scored two against Michigan (Jan. 22) and Hawaii (Feb. 4) in tournament action.
Michigan Invitational in Review
The Bruins opened the 2012 season two weeks ago at the Michigan Invitational, posting a perfect 3-0 record in two days. UCLA defeated Colorado State (9-4), Indiana (10-5) and Michigan (10-8). Senior KK Clark led the team with 10 goals, while sophomore Becca Dorst and senior Sarah Orozco each netted four goals. Caitlin Dement recorded 25 saves in all three matches in goal.
Looking Down the Road
UCLA plays its first conference game next Saturday, taking on San Diego State at 12 p.m. at the Aztecs' home pool. The following weekend, UCLA will play four games in two days at the UC Irvine Invitational. UCLA returns to the L.A. area for a March 3 tilt at USC and will host back-to-back matches against San Jose State (March 10) and Arizona State (March 17).
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.
Brooks on Deck for Year Three
Third-year head coach Brandon Brooks has compiled a 54-16 record as UCLA's head coach. He played goalkeeper for the UCLA men's water polo team from 1999-2002. 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.