INDIANAPOLIS - The University of California San Diego will host Wagner in a 2017 National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship opening-round game. The contest will be held at 4 p.m PT on Saturday, May 6, at the Canyonview Aquatic Center on the campus of UC San Diego. The announcement was made by the NCAA Monday during its live selection show.
The top six teams of the 10-team field have been placed in the championship bracket, while the remaining four teams will compete for the last two berths in the bracket through two opening-round games.
UCSD, ranked 18th nationally, holds a 19-14 overall record and will host Wagner, the 19th-ranked squad in the country with a 25-10 record, in one of the opening-round games. The winner will advance to play top seed UCLA (22-1) at the NCAA Championship, May 12-14 at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis, Ind. Indiana University and the Indiana Sports Corp will serve as hosts. The matchup with UCLA would kick off the day at 9 a.m. PT.
Wagner and UCSD met at the Aztec Invitational earlier this season with the Seahawks taking an 8-7 victory. The Tritons hold a 6-1 advantage over Wagner in the all-time series. The Seahawks earned their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament after beating Marist, 11-7, in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship game.
The second play-in game will feature host Pacific (20-8) against Pomona-Pitzer (17-18), with the winner advancing to the championship bracket to play second-seeded Stanford (20-3).
Rounding out the championship bracket is No. 4 UC Irvine (23-6) facing California (15-9) in quarterfinal action, and No. 3 USC (28-3) competing against Michigan (28-8).
Automatic qualifiers were awarded to the Big West Conference (UC Irvine), Collegiate Water Polo Association (Michigan), Golden Coast Conference (Pacific), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Wagner), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (UCLA), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Pomona-Pitzer) and the Western Water Polo Association (UC San Diego). The remaining three teams were selected at large without geographical restrictions.
The 2017 championship will be an eight-team, single-elimination tournament (7 games).