April 28, 2008
LOS ANGELES - UCLA has captured the No. 1 seed in the 2008 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship and will make its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance on May 9-11 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center. The Bruins (30-0) will play No. 8 seed Pomona-Pitzer (17-11) in first-round action on Friday, May 9.
The 2008 UCLA women's water polo team will make its seventh appearance in the eight-year history of the NCAA Championships. In the 14-year history of UCLA's program, the women's water polo team has won nine national championships and advanced to the national tournament in 13 seasons, including 2008.
The No. 2 seed was awarded to Stanford (25-4). Stanford will face No. 7 seed Marist (27-7) on May 9 in the first game of the championship at 1:30 p.m. (PT). The next game will feature No. 3 seed USC (19-7) and No. 6 seed Michigan (33-9) at 3:15 p.m. (PT). UCLA will face No. 8 seed Pomona-Pitzer (17-11) in the third game of the day at 5 p.m. (PT). The final contest of the night will pit No. 5 seed UC Davis (26-8) against No. 4 seed San Diego State (29-6) at 6:45 p.m. (PT).
The Bruins downed Stanford, 3-2, in 2005 to begin its string of three consecutive NCAA titles. In 2006, UCLA used a last-second goal against USC to win the championship match, 9-8. Last May, the Bruins helped UCLA win its 100th NCAA team championship by defeating Stanford, 5-4, in the NCAA Championship.
The Bruins' five seniors have each been a part of the last three NCAA title-winning squads. Jillian Kraus enters the NCAA Tournament having scored 52 goals, the second-highest total on the team behind junior Katie Rulon (58 goals). Kraus has scored at least one goal in 28 of the team's 30 matches. Senior Courtney Mathewson, who scored seven goals in the final two games of last weekend's MPSF Tournament, has netted 50 goals this spring.
Brittany Rowe, who registered a 14-game scoring streak midway through the 2008 campaign, has totaled 48 goals in 30 matches. Gabrielle Domanic tallied two goals in Sunday's 8-7 MPSF Tournament title win against USC and has recorded 29 goals in her senior season. Kamaile Crowell has totaled 12 goals this spring, including a season-high three goals against UC Irvine (Feb. 15).
UCLA's senior class has helped the women's water polo program total a four-year record of 120-6. This spring, the Bruins have defeated USC in three matches and Stanford in two games.