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No. 1 UCLA Women's Water Polo Prepares for Showdown at No. 3 USC
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  03/11/2008

March 11, 2008

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LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA women's water polo team plays one MPSF match this week at No. 3 USC on Friday, March 14 at 5 p.m. The Bruins defeated the Trojans, 8-4, in the teams' meeting at the Stanford Invitational last month. UCLA has won each of its last seven matches against USC.

LAST WEEKEND: The Bruins won both MPSF matches at UCLA's Sunset Canyon Recreation Center over the weekend. UCLA registered an important 9-7 win over No. 2 Stanford on Saturday afternoon. In a pivotal match between the top two teams in the nation, UCLA prevailed by two goals. Senior Brittany Rowe led the Bruins with three goals.

WIN STREAKS CONTINUE: UCLA has won all 20 matches this season, including six MPSF contests. Equally impressive, the Bruins have won 28 consecutive matches dating back to last season. UCLA last lost a contest on April 14, 2007 (at Stanford, 7-6).

BRUINS SWEEP INVITES: Earlier this season, the Bruins won the UC Irvine Invitational title and swept the Stanford Invite. At UC Irvine, UCLA 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 five MPSF Player of the Week selections in eight weeks. Most recently senior Brittany Rowe was named Co-Player of the Week. Junior Katie Rulon has twice earned the award; senior Jillian Kraus has been named MPSF Co-Player of the Week; junior Brittany Fullen was honored as Player of the Week.

TOPS ALL AROUND: Aside from sitting atop the MPSF standings with a 6-0 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 20 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 six wins - the first four coming on the road at UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. UCLA's MPSF slate continues at USC this Friday, followed by a game at Hawaii and home games versus California, Pacific, San Diego State and Arizona State. The 2008 MPSF Tournament takes place from April 24-27.

IN THE CAGE: Junior Brittany Fullen has logged a 5.00 goals against average in 20 matches, posting two shutouts. Fullen has registered 158 saves, having played all 80 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 returns 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 248-38 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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