May 12, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The UCLA women's water polo team makes its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday afternoon with a first-round match against Indiana (25-11). The Bruins (24-6) have won 11 national championships, including seven NCAA titles.
2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT
hosted by University of Michigan
Canham Natatorium (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Friday, May 13 - 1:30 p.m. (PT)
No. 3-seed UCLA (24-6) vs. No. 6-seed Indiana (25-11)
Saturday, May 14 - time TBD
No. 3-seed UCLA vs. No. 2-seed California or No. 7-seed UC San Diego
Sunday, May 15 - time TBD
No. 3-seed UCLA vs. TBD
WATCH LIVE (click here)
All NCAA Tournament games will be streamed via the NCAA this weekend. Fans can access live streaming video of each contest, free of charge.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
Stanford enters the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the top-seeded team, having gone 25-1 overall with its only loss coming to the Bruins in the semifinal round of the MPSF Tournament. California has secured the No. 2-seed after having captured the MPSF Tournament title two weeks ago. No. 4-seed USC is the other team (aside from UCLA) from the MPSF to earn an NCAA Tournament berth this season.
UCLA vs. INDIANA
The Bruins earned a 9-4 victory over Indiana in the two teams' only meeting this season. UCLA received two goals from Megan Burmeister and Leah Trella in the win on Feb. 6 at the Stanford Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.). UCLA owns a 6-0 advantage against Indiana in the all-time series. Friday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between UCLA and Indiana in the NCAA Tournament.
HOW WE GOT HERE
UCLA secured an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament this season after going 24-6 with a second-place finish at the MPSF Tournament. The Bruins finished the regular season tied for third in the MPSF standings (with Hawai'i and USC) and used victories against USC and previously-unbeaten Stanford in the first and second rounds of the MPSF Tournament, respectively, to advance to the title match. UCLA dropped a 7-6 decision to California in the championship game of the MPSF Tournament.
Senior Priscilla Orozco enters the NCAA Tournament as UCLA's leading scorer. She has totaled 56 goals in 30 matches and ranks sixth in the MPSF with a 1.87 goals per game average. Orozco earned first-team All-MPSF accolades for the second consecutive season and secured MPSF Player of the Week honors on three consecutive weeks (Feb. 14, 21 and 28). She has tallied five goals in two games this season - against UC Irvine (Feb. 19), and USC (Feb. 27) at the UCI Invitational.
STRONG AT CENTER
Senior Grace Reynolds has been among the Bruins' most vital offensive threats the last two seasons. As a junior in 2010, Reynolds led UCLA with 43 goals. This season, she ranks third on the team with 32 goals in 25 matches. The native of Santa Ana, Calif., has been a force for UCLA down the stretch, scoring 15 goals in the team's last seven matches. Reynolds finished UCLA's regular-season schedule with four goals in a win over USC (April 9) before adding four against LMU (April 14).
MORE THAN O.K.
Junior KK Clark ranks second on the team with 44 goals, heading into the NCAA Touranment. Clark, a 6-foot-2 utility player from Atherton, Calif., is currently averaging 1.53 goals per match, the 13th highest average among MPSF field players. Clark scored at least one goal in 15 of the Bruins' first 16 matches. Along with Priscilla Orozco, Clark added four goals in UCLA's thrilling 12-10 victory over crosstown rival USC on April 29 in a first-round MPSF Tournament match.
IN THE CAGE
Junior Caitlin Dement leads the Bruins with 149 saves in 21 games (21 starts). She has earned second-team All-MPSF honors for the second consecutive year and ranks fourth among MPSF goalkeepers with a 5.64 goals against average. Dement has split time in the cage this season with freshman Sami Hill, who was named an All-MPSF Freshman Team selection. Hill, hailing from Santa Barbara, Calif., has totaled 117 saves and a 5.70 goals against average in 15 matches (nine starts). She twice secured MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors this spring.
UCLA has been no stranger to success at the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins won five consecutive NCAA titles from 2005 through 2009 and have captured seven of the 10 NCAA Championships since women's water polo moved to NCAA status in 2001. In all, the Bruins have captured 11 national titles (seven NCAA) since UCLA began its women's water polo program in 1995. The Bruins have collected an all-time 45-5 record in national championship tournaments.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, May 11, UCLA is ranked No. 3 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and California are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while USC checks in at No. 4. San Jose State is ranked No. 5, while Hawai'i, UC Irvine, Arizona State, San Diego State and Indiana round out the nation's top-10 ranked teams.
AT THE HELM
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.