April 25, 2007
The second-seeded UCLA women's water polo team is poised to win its third consecutive national championship as they enter postseason play. This weekend, the Bruins travel to Tempe, Arizona, to compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament.
The team finished the MPSF regular season with an 11-1 record, earning the #2 seed in the tournament. The twelve-team tournament will begin on Thursday, April 26, at Arizona State University. The top three teams all have a first round bye. #2 UCLA will play the winner of the #7 vs. #10 game at 12:40 PST on Friday (4/27). The first round game features #7 California (10-10, 6-6 MPSF) vs. #10 Long Beach State (7-16, 3-9 MPSF).
Should the Bruins advance to the semifinals, they would play at 3:40 PST on Saturday (4/28). They could play either #3 USC, #6 San Jose State, or #11 Cal State Northridge. All the consolation games will take place beginning at 9:00 AM on Sunday. The MPSF championship game is scheduled for 3:40 PM. All 22 MPSF tournament games will be broadcast live on SunDevilsSportsNetwork.com. The subscription to view the tournament is $7.95.
This year's team has an excellent chance to win the NCAA championship for an unprecedented third time. The Bruins have had the most prolific offense and most suffocating defense in the nation for the entire year. They lead the country in goals scored per game, as well as goals allowed per game. The average margin of victory during the regular season has been a staggering 9.25 goals. The team has scored 351 goals; which is 36 more goals in eight fewer games than the next closest competitor.
The 2007 squad is closing in on some remarkable milestones. This year's goals-per-game average of 14.63 is a full two goals better than the UCLA record of 12.53 set in 1998. The team also set a new record for most goals scored in one game after defeating Pacific 30-5. Senior Kelly Rulon needs ten goals to tie Coralie Simmons career record. Eleven goals would establish Rulon as the leading goal scorer in UCLA history. Senior goalie Emily Feher needs 20 saves to surpass Jaime Hipp for second place on the all-time UCLA saves list.