March 24, 2008
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA women's water polo team plays one MPSF match this week, competing at No. 4 Hawai'i on Friday, March 28, after playing an exhibition game against the Canadian national team on Wednesday, March 26, in Honolulu.
THE PAST TWO WEEKS: With winter quarter finals drawing to a close last week, the women's water polo team did not play any games. UCLA last played at then No. 3 USC on Friday, March 14, recording a pivotal 8-7 MPSF win at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Courtney Mathewson led the Bruins with a season-high four goals as UCLA improved to 7-0 in MPSF play.
TROJANS' STREAK SNAPPED: UCLA's 8-7 win at USC on March 14 broke the Trojans' 42-game home win streak, dating back to 2002. The Bruins have won each of the last seven matches against USC, two of those victories coming this season.
WIN STREAKS CONTINUE: UCLA has won all 21 matches this season, including seven MPSF contests. Equally impressive, the Bruins have won 29 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 six MPSF Player of the Week selections in nine weeks. Most recently, senior Courtney Mathewson gained the weekly honor after scoring four goals at USC (March 14). Other honorees this season have included seniors Brittany Rowe and Jillian Kraus and juniors Katie Rulon and Brittany Fullen.
TOPS ALL AROUND: Aside from sitting atop the MPSF standings with a 7-0 mark, the Bruins are averaging the most goals scored per game (12.71) and fewest goals allowed per match (5.10).
BEST START SINCE: Having won the first 21 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 5.10 goals against average in 21 matches, posting two shutouts. Fullen has registered 161 saves, having played all 84 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 six home matches remaining this season at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The Bruins return home the weekend of April 5-6 to host California and Pacific.
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 249-38 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.