April 13, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The No. 3 UCLA women's water polo team will close its regular season this weekend, hosting No. 8 Loyola Marymount on Thursday evening and No. 9 San Diego State on Saturday afternoon. Fans can listen to a live audio broadcast of each game online, free of charge, at uclabruins.com.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Thursday, April 14 - 7 p.m.
No. 8 Loyola Marymount (23-7) at No. 3 UCLA (20-5)
at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center
Saturday, April 16 - 1 p.m.
No. 9 San Diego State (19-11, 1-5 MPSF) at No. 3 UCLA (20-5, 3-3 MPSF)
at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center
UCLA leads the all-time series against Loyola Marymount, 17-1. The Bruins have won both meetings against the Lions this season. UCLA downed LMU, 12-9, in the championship match of the Triton Invitational on Feb. 13 and edged the Lions, 6-5, in a second-round meeting at the UCI Invitational (Feb. 26). The Bruins own a 32-4 advantage in the all-time series against San Diego State.
BRUINS DEFEAT USC
The Bruins evened their record in MPSF play last Saturday to 3-3, defeating crosstown rival USC, 7-5, at Spieker Aquatics Center. Grace Reynolds led UCLA with four goals, while Priscilla Orozco added two and KK Clark scored one. The win pushed UCLA, USC and Hawai'i in a three-way tie for third place in the MPSF standings.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior center Grace Reynolds earned MPSF Player of the Week honors for the first time in her two-year UCLA career on Monday. Reynolds, who hails from Santa Ana, Calif., scored four goals in the Bruins' 7-5 victory against USC last Saturday. With the score tied, 5-5, Reynolds scored the game's final two goals in the fourth quarter to help UCLA earn a crucial win in MPSF action.
Senior Priscilla Orozco captured MPSF Player of the Week honors on three consecutive weeks (Feb. 14, 21 and 28). Orozco earned the conference's weekly honors on Feb. 28 after having scored a team-leading 12 goals in UCLA's four matches at the UC Irvine Invitational (Feb. 26-27). She has tallied five goals in two games this season - against UC Irvine (Feb. 19) and USC (Feb. 27) at the UCI Invitational.
Among the top scorers among MPSF players, senior Priscilla Orozco and junior KK Clark enter this week's game against Loyola Marymount as UCLA's top two scorers. Orozco scored in each of UCLA's first 19 matches and currently ranks eighth in the MPSF in goals scored per game (1.84). Clark is 18th in goals per game (1.43) among MPSF field players and has scored in 21 matches.
DOWN THE ROAD
UCLA, USC and Hawai'i each have gone 3-3 in MPSF action. Should each team win its final MPSF contest, Hawai'i would emerge as the No. 3-seed in the MPSF Tournament, UCLA as the No.4-seed and USC as the No. 5-seed. Each team went 1-1 in games against the other two teams. Hawai'i wins the goal differential tiebreak between UCLA and USC, and UCLA wins the tiebreak over USC. If each team wins its final MPSF game, UCLA would open MPSF Tournament play against USC on April 29.
Less than three weeks away, the MPSF Tournament will take place April 29-May 1 at San Jose State. All eight MPSF teams advance to the conference tournament, whereby the winner earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This year's NCAA Tournament will take place the weekend of May 13-15 at Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
UCLA won the Triton Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 13, recording four victories in two days. The Bruins outlasted Santa Clara (11-2) and Hartwick (12-4) on Feb. 12 before registering consecutive victories over San Diego State (8-7) and Loyola Marymount (12-9) on Feb. 13. Senior Priscilla Orozco and sophomore Brooke Martin each led UCLA with seven goals, while senior Noel Umphrey added six goals.
Through 25 games, at least seven players have registered 15 or more goals. Senior Priscilla Orozco leads the way (46) and is followed by junior KK Clark (46), who has scored in all but four matches. Senior Grace Reynolds is third on the team with 24 goals, and sophomore Emily Greenwood ranks fourth with 17. Senior Kelly Easterday and sophomore Brooke Martin have each tallied 16.
IN THE CAGE
Junior Caitlin Dement leads the Bruins with 116 saves in 17 games (17 starts). Dement leads the team with a 5.29 goals against average, which currently ranks fourth among MPSF goalkeepers. Sami Hill, a two-time MPSF Newcomer of the Week honoree this spring, has posted a 5.76 goals against average, fifth-lowest in the MPSF. Hill has tallied 103 saves in 13 games (eight starts).
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Wednesday, April 13, UCLA is ranked No. 3 in the national top-20 poll. Stanford and California are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while USC checks in at No. 4. Hawai'i is ranked No. 5, while Michigan, San Jose State, Loyola Marymount, San Diego State and UC Irvine round out the nation's top-10 ranked teams.
AT THE HELM
Second-year head coach Brandon Brooks was a four-year Bruin letterwinner (1999-2002) and a 2005 graduate of UCLA. Last season, he helped lead the Bruins to a 22-8 record and MPSF Tournament title in his first season as head coach. 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.