April 9, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1-ranked UCLA women's water polo team finishes its regular season with three home matches this weekend, including two MPSF contests. The Bruins host San Diego State and Sonoma State on Saturday afternoon before concluding its regular-season slate Sunday against Arizona State. Sunday afternoon's match marks the final home game for UCLA's five seniors - Kamaile Crowell, Gabrielle Domanic, Jillian Kraus, Courtney Mathewson and Brittany Rowe.
TOPS IN MPSF PLAY: UCLA boasts a 10-0 record in MPSF competition and can become the third team in conference history to record a perfect record in MPSF regular-season play (Stanford in 2001, UCLA in 2005). The Bruins defeated Arizona State, 14-5, in the team's first match of the season. UCLA has yet to face San Diego State this year.
LAST WEEKEND: UCLA cruised past No. 6 California and Pacific in two home MPSF matches last weekend. The Bruins downed California, 10-4, before defeating Pacific, 13-6, on Sunday afternoon. Katie Rulon led the Bruins with three goals against California.
BEST START SINCE: UCLA has won all 24 matches this season, including 10 MPSF contests. Equally impressive, the Bruins have won 32 consecutive games dating back to last season. UCLA last lost a contest on April 14, 2007 (at Stanford, 7-6). The Bruins have equaled their best start since 2005, when UCLA went 33-0 en route to winning its first of three consecutive NCAA Championships.
WEEKLY DEAL: UCLA has garnered six MPSF Player of the Week selections in 11 weeks. Courtney Mathewson gained the weekly honor after scoring four goals at USC (March 14). Other honorees this season have included Brittany Rowe, Jillian Kraus, Katie Rulon (twice) and Brittany Fullen.
TOPS ALL AROUND: Aside from sitting atop the MPSF standings with a 10-0 mark, the Bruins are averaging the most goals per game (12.5) and fewest goals allowed per match (5.1). Senior Jillian Kraus is averaging 1.95 goals per game, and junior Katie Rulon has averaged 1.92 goals per game.
IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen has logged a 4.92 goals against average in all 24 matches, posting two shutouts. Fullen has logged 176 saves, playing all but one of 96 quarters. Fullen tallied a career-high 15 saves against Stanford on Feb. 24.
REGULAR SCORERS: Senior Jillian Kraus has scored at least one goal in 23 of the team's 24 matches this season. Kraus scored in each of the first 13 matches. Senior Courtney Mathewson has registered at least one goal in each of the last 14 games (26 goals in that span).
POSTSEASON: The 2008 MPSF Tournament will be hosted by San Diego State from April 24-27. Last spring, UCLA captured the MPSF Tournament title with a convincing 9-3 win over Stanford in the championship match. Stanford will host the 2008 NCAA Championships on May 9-11 at the Avery Aquatics Center (Palo Alto, Calif.).
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 (1995), UCLA has won nine national championships, six as NCAA titles (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, earning all 100 points (preseason).
HOME SWEET HOME: UCLA has three home matches remaining this season at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The Bruins conclude their regular season this weekend against San Diego State, Sonoma State (April 12) and Arizona State (April 13) to campus.
AT THE HELM: In his 10th season as head coach of the women's water polo team, Adam Krikorian has tallied an impressive 252-38 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.