Feb. 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team continues its non-conference schedule at the Triton Invitational this weekend, on the campus of UC San Diego (La Jolla, Calif.). UCLA finished third at the Stanford Invitational last weekend, earning victories against Hawai'i, Indiana and California.
UCLA'S TRITON INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Complete schedule available in PDF format by clicking here.
Saturday, February 12
8:30 a.m., UCLA vs. Santa Clara (at Triton Pool) time TBD, UCLA vs. Hartwick/UC San Diego (at Triton Pool)
Sunday, February 13
Two games, times TBD, opponents TBD
UCLA will open the Triton Invitational as the tournament's top-seeded team. Ranked No. 3 in this week's collegiate top-20 poll, the Bruins will face Santa Clara in a first-round meeting Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The winner of that match will face the winner of the Hartwick/UC San Diego contest at 3:10 p.m. Should UCLA win its first two matches Saturday, the Bruins would advance to a semifinal meeting on Sunday at 11:10 a.m. The tournament's third place match is at 4:30 p.m., and the first-place game is at 5:50 p.m.
UCLA has already faced four of the other 15 participants in this weekend's Triton Invitational. UCLA defeated Hartwick, 17-3, at the Michigan Invitational three weeks ago, and could play the Hawks as soon as Saturday afternoon at UC San Diego. The Bruins have also earned victories against Cal State Northridge, Michigan and Long Beach State. Northridge is the second-seeded team in Bracket B, while Michigan and Long Beach State are the No. 1 and 3-seeded teams, respectively, in Bracket C.
THIRD AT STANFORD
The Bruins finished third at the Stanford Invitational last weekend. UCLA defeated Hawai'i, 7-6, in its first round-robin 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 afternoon 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 opened its schedule by winning its first six games. The Bruins enter this weekend's Trinton Invitational with an 8-1 overall record. UCLA has outscored its opposition by a combined 94-51 margin and has performed best in the first quarter (outscoring opponents 30-9 in that period). Senior Priscilla Orozco and junior KK Clark share the team lead with 19 goals each.
The Bruins went 4-0 at the Michigan Invitational in the season-opening weekend (Jan. 22-23), posting a combined 49-19 score in four wins. UCLA cruised past Colorado State, 15-6, in its season opener before taking down Hartwick, 17-3, later that day. Before a televised audience (Big Ten Network) at Michigan on Sunday morning, UCLA earned a 6-5 victory against the Wolverines. The Bruins ended their weekend by beating Cal State Northridge, 11-5.
Through the season's first nine matches, at least seven players have registered five goals or more. After senior Priscilla Orozco and junior KK Clark (19 goals apiece), senior Grace Reynolds follows with 10 goals. Sophomore Emily Greenwood has registered seven goals, senior Kelly Easterday and freshman Becca Dorst have each tallied six, and junior Sarah Orozco rounds out the top seven scorers with five goals.
ON THE HORIZON
UCLA returns home in one week to host a non-conference match against UC Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 19 (1 p.m.). The Bruins open MPSF play on Thursday, Feb. 24, against Hawai'i. That conference contest is slated to begin at 7 p.m. under the lights at Spieker Aquatics Center. Two days later, UCLA hits the road to play in the UC Irvine Invitational (four games through two days).
IN THE CAGE
Junior Caitlin Dement has posted a 5.91 goals against average in six starts (23 quarters). UCLA's lone returning goalkeeper, Dement has collected 44 saves through the season's first three weekends. Freshman Sami Hill has played in four games (three starts), logging a 5.23 goals against average in 13 quarters. Hill raised her saves total to 33 after making nine stops in UCLA's 9-4 victory against Indiana.
Senior Priscilla Orozco and junior KK Clark are tied for sixth among MPSF field players in goals scored per game (2.11). Hawai'i's Monika Eggens leads the way with a 2.60 goals per game average (13 goals, five matches). Freshman Sami Hill ranks fifth among MPSF goalkeepers with a 5.23 goals against average. Junior Caitlin Dement's 5.91 goals against average is seventh in the conference. Dement and Hill have helped UCLA post the conference's second lowest combined goals against average (5.67).
2011 AT A GLANCE
UCLA's roster features eight seniors, just one year after not having had any seniors. The Bruins' supporting cast includes five juniors, nine sophomores and four freshmen. UCLA's schedule features four in-season tournaments - the Michigan Invitational, Stanford Invitational, Triton Invitational and UC Irvine Invitational - over the first six weekends.
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, Feb. 9, UCLA has been ranked No. 3 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and USC are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the latest poll. California checks in at No. 4 and Hawai'i is ranked No. 5. Loyola Marymount, Michigan, Arizona State, San Jose State and San Diego 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.