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No. 4 UCLA Women's Water Polo Gears Up for No. 8 San Jose State
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/30/2011

March 30, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 UCLA women's water polo team plays an MPSF match at No. 8 San Jose State on Saturday, April 2. Game time at SJSU's Aquatics Center is 12 p.m. The Bruins have compiled an 18-5 overall record, including a 1-3 mark in MPSF action. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the Bruins with 44 goals through 23 matches.

No. 4 UCLA (18-5, 1-3) at No. 8 San Jose State (16-8, 2-2)

Saturday, April 2 - 12 p.m.
at SJSU's Aquatics Center

UCLA returns to the road for Saturday's MPSF game at San Jose State. The Bruins lead the all-time series against the Spartans by a 28-0 tally. Last spring, UCLA won a 12-5 decision over San Jose State at Spieker Aquatics Center. A win over the Spartans can help the Bruins move into the fifth overall spot in the current MPSF standings.

The Bruins lost at Stanford, 5-2, last Saturday at the Cardinal's Avery Aquatic Center. The host Cardinal claimed a 4-0 advantage by halftime before UCLA closed the game to 5-2 on the second of Megan Burmeister's two goals. Prior to the MPSF match at Stanford, UCLA had not played since Saturday, March 12 (week-long layoff attributed to Winter Quarter final exams March 14-18).

In a competitive conference field, UCLA has gone 1-3 and currently rests in sixth place in the MPSF standings. California leads the MPSF field with a 4-0 mark, while Stanford is second at 3-0. USC and Hawai'i are each 3-1, with the Women of Troy owning the tiebreak advantage by virtue of a 5-4 overtime win in Honolulu on March 18. San Diego State (0-3) and Arizona State (0-4) round out the conference's seven 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.

Goalkeeper Sami Hill and utility player Becca Dorst have each secured MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors this season. Hill collected 37 saves in four matches at the UCI Invitational before being named the conference's Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 28. Dorst scored a team-leading four goals in a 17-5 win over Cal Baptist on March 5 to earn the weekly honor.

Through games played on Sunday, March 27, senior Priscilla Orozco is tied for fifth among MPSF field players with 44 goals and is seventh in the conference with a 1.91 goals per game average. Orozco has scored in 20 of the team's 23 games this season. Junior KK Clark is second on the team with 33 goals and has scored an average of 1.43 goals per match.

Nearing the end of the team's schedule, UCLA has four regular-season matches remaining before playing at the MPSF Tournament. Following Saturday's match against San Jose State, the Bruins will host an MPSF contest against USC on Saturday, April 9. The following week, UCLA will conclude its regular-season schedule with home matches against LMU (April 14) and San Diego State (April 16).

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 23 matches, at least nine players have registered 10 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way (44) and is followed by junior KK Clark (33), who has scored in all but three matches for UCLA. Senior Grace Reynolds and sophomore Emily Greenwood are tied for third on the team with 17 goals. Senior Kelly Easterday and junior Sarah Orozco have each netted 15 goals.

Freshman Sami Hill leads UCLA with 103 saves in 13 games (nine starts). A two-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week selection this season, Hill has posted a 5.46 goals against average. Junior Caitlin Dement has tallied 99 saves in 15 starts, having logged a 5.65 goals against average. Through matches played March 27, Dement and Hill rank fourth and sixth, respectively in GAA in the MPSF.

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.

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.

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