May 9, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The No. 2-seed UCLA women's water polo team begins the 2012 NCAA Tournament against No. 7-seed Iona (24-11) on Friday afternoon. Game time at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex is 12 p.m. The winner of that match will face either No. 3-seed USC (21-5) or No. 6-seed Princeton (28-4) in a semifinal match on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
Bruins in the NCAA Tournament
UCLA will make its 11th appearance in the 12-year history of the NCAA Championships. In the 18-year history of UCLA's program, the Bruins have won 11 national titles (seven NCAA) and have advanced to the national tournament in 17 seasons (including 2012). In 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, the Bruins have won seven NCAA Championships, compiling a 24-3 cumulative record. UCLA has gone 47-6 in 16 previous trips to the annual national tournament.
How We Got Here
UCLA earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament after having gone 21-3 and winning the MPSF Tournament title at Stanford (April 27-29). UCLA outlasted Stanford in overtime, 8-7, at the Cardinal's home pool on April 29 in the MPSF Tournament's title match. The Bruins finished in a tie for second place in the MPSF regular-season standings and secured the conference's No. 2 seed by virtue of a 6-5 regular-season victory in an MPSF meeting at USC on March 3.
MPSF Player of the Year
Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Dement has been named the 2012 MPSF Player of the Year, UCLA's first conference player of the year selection since 2008, when teammates Courtney Mathewson and Jillian Kraus earned Co-Player of the Year accolades. Dement ranks third among MPSF goalkeepers with a 5.22 goals against average and an average of 9.72 saves per game. She also was named MVP of the MPSF Tournament.
MPSF Coach of the Year
UCLA's Brandon Brooks captured MPSF Coach of the Year honors after having led the Bruins to their second MPSF Tournament title in his three seasons at the helm. A former standout goalkeeper on UCLA's men's water polo team, Brooks has compiled a 63-21 record in three seasons as head coach of the women's program. This marks the first time in which Brooks has secured MPSF Coach of the Year acclaim.
UCLA's Leading Scorer
Senior KK Clark leads UCLA with 51 goals through 24 matches. Clark, a talented utility player from Atherton, Calif., has scored at least one goal in 22 of the Bruins' 24 matches. She ranks fourth among MPSF field players with a 2.13 goals per game average. Clark has tallied 17 multiple-goal games and scored a season-high five goals in a 10-6 victory at UC Irvine on April 14. In addition, Clark leads UCLA with 39 steals and 17 field blocks.
Key Contributors for the Bruins
Emily Greenwood has registered a team-leading 64 earned exclusions and ranks third on the team with 26 steals. Gisselle Naranjo has collected a team-high 33 assists and ranks second with 27 steals and 12 field blocks. Sarah Orozco ranks second on the club with 33 earned exclusions, having scored 20 goals on 50 attempts.