Friday’s showdown will settle first place in the conference race and the top ranking in the national polls. The Bruins (21-2, 3-0) are the only team to beat the Cardinal (17-1, 3-0) this season. The two teams shared the No. 1 ranking last week, and, while both teams won last week, the Cardinal earned the unshared top spot in the rankings this week.
The Bruins can take an important step toward settling both arguments Friday afternoon with a victory. On Feb. 23, the Bruins handed the Cardinal their only loss, a 9-6 decision in the semifinals of the UC Irvine Tournament. The victory avenged an 8-4 loss on Feb. 2 to the Cardinal in the Stanford Invitational.
Stanford is the only school with a series advantage against UCLA in women’s water polo, owning a 37-31 margin. The two schools have won 14 national championships in the sport and the Cardinal has won two of the last three NCAA team titles.
On Sat., Apr. 12, UCLA will host No. 6 San Jose State in its final regular season home game at 3 p.m.