Jan. 15, 2010
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. - The five-time defending NCAA champion UCLA women's water polo team has been ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Division I preseason top-20 poll, as released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) this week.
Stanford opens the year as the preseason No. 1-ranked team, and USC follows at No. 2. Rounding out the top five teams, after No. 3 UCLA, include No. 4 Hawai'i and No. 5 California. The Bruins have been selected third in the preseason poll for the second consecutive year.
UCLA enters the 2010 season having won each of the last five NCAA championships, accumulating a record in that span of 148-12. Juniors Priscilla Orozco, Kelly Easterday and Megan Burmeister return as several of the Bruins' most experienced, veteran players.
Sophomore Caitlin Dement is expected to push for the team's starting goalkeeper role, and classmates KK Clark and Sarah Orozco return after having been selected to the MPSF All-Freshman team one year ago.
In all, UCLA's roster features 11 juniors, seven sophomores and 10 freshmen. The Bruins also feature first-year head coach Brandon Brooks, who spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach on the UCLA men's and women's water polo coaching staffs. Molly Cahill enters her second year as an assistant coach.
The Bruins open their season at the Michigan Invitational on Jan. 23-24.