INDIANAPOLIS - The 13th-ranked UC San Diego women's water polo team has earned the No. 5 seed for the upcoming NCAA Championships and will face fourth-seeded and seventh-ranked Hawaii in the first round on May 10 at 4 p.m. (PT).
The tournament will be hosted by Harvard May 10-12 at Blodgett Pool in Boston.
UCSD (25-13) earned one of six automatic bids to the eight-team NCAA Championships by defeating rival Loyola Marymount, 10-8, in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title game this past Sunday. It was the Tritons' second conference crown in the last three seasons.
Automatic qualifiers were also awarded to top-seed Southern California (24-1, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation), Hawaii (21-9, Big West Conference), sixth-seed Princeton (26-5, Collegiate Water Polo Association), seventh-seed Iona (21-8, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and eighth-seed Pomona-Pitzer (18-16, Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
Stanford and UCLA received the two at-large bids to this year's NCAA Championships. Stanford, 27-2, received the tournament's No. 2 seed after dropping the MPSF conference championship game, 11-7, to USC. UCLA, also a member of the MPSF, earned the third-seed and enters the tournament with a 26-6 overall record.
UCSD is 2-16 all-time against Hawaii. The Tritons and Rainbow Wahine met earlier this season at the Hawaii Spring Break Tournament on March 30 in Honolulu. UCSD kept up with UH for the majority of the game, but ended up falling by a 9-6 count.
The Tritons also qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2011. They went 1-2 with losses against Cal and Indiana and a win over Iona in the seventh-place game.
UCSD has posted an 11-1 record in the month of April, with its lone loss coming against No. 8 San Diego State. In addition to LMU, the Tritons also defeated Cal State San Bernardino and Colorado State at the WWPA Championships. Melissa Bartow was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, while Sarah Lizotte and Courtney Miller each received first team honors. Jolene Guiliana earned second team accolades.
For complete tourney info, click here.
NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships
Friday, May 10
No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 7 Iona, 10:45 a.m.
No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 6 Princeton, 12:30 p.m.
No. 1 USC vs. No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer, 2:15 p.m.
No. 4 Hawaii vs. No. 5 UC San Diego, 4 p.m.
all times Pacific
-- UCSDtritons.com --