Feb. 21, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team opens its MPSF schedule against No. 5 Hawai'i on Thursday evening (6 p.m.) at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bruins will play in the UC Irvine Invitational this weekend, beginning tournament play on Saturday against UC Davis at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, February 24
No. 5 Hawai'i (3-2, 1-0) at No. 3 UCLA (13-1, 0-0)
Game time: 6 p.m., UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center
Saturday, February 26 (UC Irvine Invitational)
UCLA vs. UC Davis - 11:30 a.m.
UCLA vs. Loyola Marymount or Long Beach State - time TBD
Sunday, February 27 (UC Irvine Invitational)
Two games, times and opponents are TBD
Senior Priscilla Orozco has earned MPSF Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week. Most recently, she captured the weekly award after having scored a career-high five goals in UCLA's 7-5 non-conference win over UC Irvine last Saturday. One week ago, she was named MPSF Player of the Week after leading UCLA to the Triton Invitational title with seven goals in four games. Orozco, an attacker from Commerce, Calif., has scored in each of the Bruins' 14 matches.
Senior Priscilla Orozco leads UCLA with 30 goals, and junior KK Clark ranks second on the team with 26 goals. Orozco is tied for fourth place among MPSF field players with a 2.14 goals per game average (tied with USC's Kristen Dronberger). Clark ranks ninth in the MPSF with a 1.86 goals per game average. Orozco's 30 total goals ranks second in the MPSF to San Jose State's Timi Molnar, who has registered 31 goals in 14 matches.
UCLA won the Triton Invitational two weeks ago, recording four victories in two days. The Bruins outlasted Santa Clara (11-2) and Hartwick (12-4) on Saturday before registering consecutive victories over San Diego State (8-7) and Loyola Marymount (12-9) on Sunday. Senior Priscilla Orozco and sophomore Brooke Martin each led UCLA with seven goals, while senior Noel Umphrey added six goals.
THIRD AT STANFORD
The Bruins finished third at the Stanford Invitational three weeks ago. UCLA defeated Hawai'i, 7-6, in its first meeting before dropping the nightcap to USC, 10-8. A 9-4 win over Indiana on Sunday morning allowed the Bruins to advance to the third-place match. UCLA earned a 10-8 win over California on Sunday to finish third overall. Senior Priscilla Orozco led the Bruins with 12 goals, while junior KK Clark followed with seven goals. Junior Caitlin Dement registered 21 saves in three matches.
UCLA has opened its schedule by winning 13 of its first 14 games. The Bruins enter this weekend's home contest against Hawai'i having won their last seven matches. At the Triton Invitational on Feb. 5-6, the Bruins outscored their opposition by a combined 43-21 margin. Through all 14 matches, UCLA has outscored its opposition by a 144-78 tally.
The Bruins went 4-0 at the Michigan Invitational in the season-opening weekend (Jan. 22-23), posting a combined 49-19 score. UCLA downed Colorado State, 15-6, in its season opener before beating Hartwick, 17-3. Before a televised audience (Big Ten Network) at Michigan on Sunday, UCLA earned a 6-5 victory. The Bruins ended their weekend by beating Cal State Northridge, 11-5.
Through the season's first 14 matches, at least six players have registered 10 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way with 30 goals and is followed by junior KK Clark (26 goals). Senior Kelly Easterday and sophomores Emily Greenwood and Brooke Martin have each netted 11 goals. Senior Grace Reynolds has scored 10 goals.
ON THE HORIZON
After the UC Irvine Invitational, the Bruins have eight games remaining on their regular season schedule. UCLA heads to play at Arizona State on Saturday, March 5. The Bruins will also take on Cal Baptist in Tempe, Ariz., that afternoon. The following Saturday, UCLA returns home for an MPSF match against California.
IN THE CAGE
Junior Caitlin Dement has posted a 5.49 goals against average in nine starts (35 quarters). UCLA's lone returning goalkeeper, Dement has collected 71 saves through the season's first five weekends. Freshman Sami Hill has played in six games (five starts), logging a 5.71 goals against average in 21 quarters. Hill has logged 48 saves through her first six matches this season.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, Feb. 16, UCLA has been ranked No. 3 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and USC are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. California checks in at No. 4 and Hawai'i is ranked No. 5. Loyola Marymount, San Diego State, Arizona State, Michigan and San Jose State round out the top 10 selections.
AT THE HELM
Brandon Brooks is in his second year as UCLA's head coach. The four-year Bruin letterwinner (1999-2002) and a 2005 graduate of UCLA helped lead the Bruins to a 22-8 record and MPSF Tournament title in his first season as the program's head coach in 2010. 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.