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No. 1 UCLA Women's Water Polo to Host Two Pivotal MPSF Matches
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/04/2008

March 4, 2008

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LOS ANGELES - UCLA returns home to host No. 2 Stanford and No. 8 San Jose State this weekend. The Bruins defeated Stanford, 8-7, in sudden-victory overtime on Sunday, Feb. 24, in the championship match of the UC Irvine Invitational. UCLA downed San Jose State, 12-7, in its third game of the Stanford Invitational (Feb. 10). Last weekend, UCLA blanked UC Santa Barbara, 12-0, on the road.

Saturday, March 8 - 3 p.m. at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
No. 1 UCLA (18-0, 4-0 MPSF) vs. No. 2 Stanford (11-2, 3-0 MPSF)

Sunday, March 9 - 1 p.m. at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center
No. 1 UCLA (18-0, 4-0 MPSF) vs. No. 8 San Jose State (8-8, 1-3 MPSF)

TIME CHANGE: UCLA's contest on Saturday has been pushed back to 3 p.m., two hours later than originally scheduled, to due the numerous athletic events taking place on campus that day.

BRUINS SWEEP INVITE: UCLA won the UC Irvine Invitational just two weeks after sweeping the Stanford Invitational. The Bruins registered convincing victories over Cal State Northridge and Loyola Marymount, before defeating California in the semifinals. The Bruins captured an 8-7 win against Stanford in sudden-victory overtime on Feb. 24.

WEEKLY DEAL: UCLA has garnered four MPSF Player of the Week selections in six weeks. Junior Katie Rulon has twice earned the weekly honor. Senior Jillian Kraus was named MPSF Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 18, and junior Brittany Fullen was honored as Player of the Week on Feb. 25. Last weekend, Fullen recorded 40 saves in four matches at the UC Irvine Invitational, registering a career-best 15 saves in the Bruins' 8-7 win over Stanford.

TOPS ALL AROUND: Aside from sitting atop the MPSF standings with a 4-0 mark, the Bruins are averaging the most goals scored per game (13.06) and fewest goals allowed per match (4.89).

BEST START SINCE: Having won the first 18 games of the season, UCLA has registered its best start since 2005, when the Bruins posted a perfect 33-0 record en route to winning the first of three consecutive NCAA Championships.

PERFECT MPSF START: The Bruins have opened MPSF play with four road wins - at UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. UCLA cruised to a 13-3 victory over UC Irvine on Feb. 15, as three players each scored three goals. In the win at Cal State Northridge, junior Katie Rulon tallied three goals. Senior Jillian Kraus added four goals in UCLA's 19-7 win at Long Beach State.

IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen has logged a 4.88 goals against average in 18 matches, totaling two shutouts. Fullen has registered 140 saves, having played all 72 quarters. Fullen tallied a career-high 15 saves against Stanford on Feb. 24.

TITLE DEFENSE: The Bruins have won each of the last three NCAA Championships and claimed the MPSF Tournament title last spring. Last season's NCAA title marked UCLA's 100th NCAA team championship, making UCLA the first school to accomplish that feat. Since the sport's inception in 1995, the Bruins have captured nine national championships, six of which are NCAA championships (first NCAA in 2001).

TOP RANKED: UCLA has maintained the No. 1 ranking all season. Conference foes USC, Stanford, Hawaii and California rounded out the preseason top five slots. The Golden Bears are followed by San Diego State, San Jose State, UC Davis, UC Irvine and Hartwick. The Bruins were a unanimous No. 1 selection, garnering all 100 points (preseason).

HOME SWEET HOME: UCLA has eight home matches remaining this season at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The Bruins return home this weekend (March 8-9) and will face Stanford and San Jose State on back-to-back afternoons. One month later, UCLA will host six games in a 12-day span, as five of those matches are MPSF contests.

OFFENSIVE DEPTH: UCLA welcomes back five of six top returning scorers from last season's team. Senior Jillian Kraus (54) and junior Katie Rulon (52) finished the 2007 season as the Bruins' second and third-leading scorers. Junior Tanya Gandy (38) and seniors Brittany Rowe (34) and Gabrielle Domanic (32) rounded out the Bruins' top six scorers.

AT THE HELM: In his 10th season as head coach of the women's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 246-38 career record. Krikorian has guided the women's water polo program to six national titles (five NCAA). He also serves as the UCLA men's water polo head coach, having led that program to three NCAA championships in nine years. Krikorian played water polo at UCLA, helping lead the 1995 men's water polo team to its first NCAA title since 1972.


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