April 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES - UCLA women's water polo seniors Courtney Mathewson and Jillian Kraus have earned 2008 MPSF Co-Player of the Year honors, as announced this week by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Additionally, 10th-year head coach Adam Krikorian captured MPSF Co-Coach of the Year honors.
Junior goalkeeper Brittany Fullen has been named a second-team All-MPSF honoree. Senior Brittany Rowe joins juniors Katie Rulon and Tanya Gandy as honorable mention All-MPSF selections. UCLA's Priscilla Orozco and Kelly Easterday have gained All-MPSF freshman team accolades.
Mathewson, a senior from Anaheim Hills, Calif., has scored 50 goals in 30 matches. A key member of the women's water polo team each of the past four seasons, Mathewson has netted at least one goal in 26 of the Bruins' 30 games this spring. Mathewson captured MPSF Player of the Week honors on March 17 following a three-goal effort in an 8-7 win at USC. In UCLA's final two games at last weekend's MPSF Tournament, Mathewson combined for seven goals before capturing tournament MVP honors.
Kraus, a senior from Foothill, Calif., ranks in the top-10 among all MPSF scorers with 54 goals (1.80 goals per game) entering the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Kraus gained MPSF Player of the Week honors on Feb. 18 after having scored nine goals in three conference road games. Kraus has scored at least one goal in 28 of the Bruins' 30 matches and began the season having scored in each of the first 13 matches. Following last weekend's win over USC in the MPSF Tournament title match, Kraus earned All-MPSF Tournament Team honors.
Fullen, a junior from San Clemente, Calif., has logged 219 saves in 30 games (937:53 minutes). Fullen boasts a 4.77 goals against average, allowing just 143 goals as the Bruins' primary goalkeeper. In eight matches, Fullen has logged 10 or more goals. Fullen registered a career-high 15 saves in a sudden-victory win over Stanford in the title match at the UC Irvine Invitational on Feb. 24 before earning MPSF Player of the Week honors.
Rowe, a senior from San Diego, has totaled 48 goals, the fourth-highest total on the team. Earlier this season, Rowe recorded a scoring streak of 14 games (Feb. 10 through April 5), totaling 26 goals in that span. Rulon, a junior from Point Loma, Calif., has netted a team-leading 58 goals in 30 matches. Rulon has scored in 25 contests this spring and has recorded one five-goal effort and three four-goal games. Gandy, a junior from San Diego, has scored 42 goals this season, including seven in last weekend's MPSF Tournament.
Orozco, a freshman from Commerce, Calif., leads all Bruin newcomers with 22 goals. Orozco has tallied six multi-goal games. Easterday, a freshman defender from Santa Barbara, Calif., has logged seven goals in her first season as a Bruin.
Krikorian, who boasts a 259-38 record in 10 seasons as UCLA's head women's water polo coach, led the Bruins (30-0) to their second consecutive MPSF Tournament title last weekend. In his 10 years at the helm, Krikorian has guided UCLA to nine appearances in the season-culminating national tournament (including 2008) and has set UCLA's sights on winning its fourth consecutive NCAA Championship and the 10th national title in program history.
Top-seeded UCLA opens competition at the 2008 NCAA Tournament against eighth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer on Friday, May 9 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. Game time is slated for 5 p.m. The winner of that match advances to the semifinals on Saturday, May 10, and will face either fourth-seeded San Diego State or fifth-seeded UC Davis at 4 p.m. The championship match will take place Sunday, May 11, at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV).