LA JOLLA, Calif. - The NCAA has awarded the National Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Championship to the city of La Jolla for the 2014 season at Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego. The announcement was made Wednesday by the NCAA as part of the revealing of host sites for the 2014-18 seasons.
“It’s always a privilege to host any NCAA event and to be chosen as the site of a national championship is a special honor,” said UCSD senior associate athletics director and 2014 tournament director Ken Grosse. “Given the success our water polo programs have had over the years, this is an exciting opportunity and we look forward to putting on a first class event that reflects positively on the University as well as the San Diego community.”
The selection marks the third time Canyonview Aquatic Center will host the men’s NCAA Championship, previously in 1996 and 1999. The 2003 National Collegiate Women’s National Championship was also held at UCSD. Canyonview has hosted several regional water polo championships, including the men’s Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship in 2011.
“It’s an honor to be awarded the opportunity to host the pinnacle event of our sport,” said UCSD head coach Denny Harper. “It will be a hard act to follow after Stanford and their great facilities, but San Diego has a lot to offer including the great weather. The selection makes a great statement about our campus, facilities, staff and everyone involved with UC San Diego.”
Located on the eastern end of campus, between Eleanor Roosevelt College and Warren College, the Canyonview Aquatic Center features two outdoor, Olympic-size pools. Measuring 50 meters by 25 yards and uniform seven feet deep, the West Pool features a state-off-the-art weight room and locker rooms. Canyonview consistently is atop the nation in attendance at UCSD water polo games.
“There is definitely a lot of work that needs to be done, but I’m really confident in everyone involved in making the 2014 NCAA Championship a real great event,” said Harper.
The new NCAA championship bid process creates the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
“We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren’t spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded.
The Tritons made their 12th appearance at the NCAA Championship in 2013 and played in the first ever NCAA play-in game. UCSD loses only one senior next year and looks forward to the opportunity to play for a national title in front of its home crowd in 2014.
“We’re going to do everything we can as a team to be there and compete for a title in our backyard,” said Harper.