No. 12 Tritons Set for Friday Night Showdown at No. 9 UC Irvine
UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank: 12 (CWPA)
THE WEEK AHEAD
After having a weekend off following a successful 2-0 road trip to Fresno, Calif., the University of California San Diego women's water polo team takes on No. 9-ranked UC Irvine on Friday, April 13, beginning at 7 p.m.
WATCH HOME GAMES LIVE AT UCSDTRITONS.TV
UC San Diego home matches will be streamed live at UCSDtritons.tv ($5.99) with Seth Smith calling all of the action from Canyonview Aquatic Center.
1. UC San Diego: 4-0, 20-10
2. Mercyhurst: 2-0, 11-5
3. Cal State East Bay: 4-1, 14-8
4. Fresno Pacific: 2-2, 8-15
5. Gannon: 1-1, 6-8
6. Sonoma State: 2-3, 6-15
7. McKendree: 0-2, 8-12
8. Cal State Monterey Bay: 0-6, 4-18
The Tritons, currently ranked No. 12 in the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll, have a 20-10 overall record heading into the weekend with 10 victories over ranked opponents ... UC San Diego has won 11 of its last 12 games after earning road victories over both Fresno Pacific, 15-3, on March 30 and Fresno State, 13-11, on March 31 ... The Tritons are led by senior Kayla Fedler, who has a team-high 54 points on 42 goals with 12 assists ... Sophomore Krista Schneider ranks second on the team with 52 points on 14 goals and a team-best 38 assists, while freshmen Grace Pevehouse and Taylor Onstott have each recorded 35 goals apiece ... Junior Chanel Schilling leads the team with 32 exclusions drawn and sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher has racked up 120 saves.
CIARA FRANKE NAMED WWPA PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 4
UC San Diego freshman Ciara Franke earned Western Water Polo Association Player of the Week honors on April 4. It's the first-career honor for Franke, who joins previous award winners freshmen Taylor Onstott (Feb. 14) and Grace Pevehouse (March 14). Franke recorded six goals with four stals in two UC San Diego road victories on March 30-31, including the game-winning goal against Fresno State on March 31. This season, Franke has tallied a team-high 55 steals along with 31 points on 24 goals and seven assists.
WHO'S BACK, WHO'S NOT
The 2018 Triton roster boasts 15 returners, including four All-WWPA honorees in sophomore utility Jessee Ransone, sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher, junior center Chanel Schilling and junior attack Krista Schneider. Ransone, selected to the WWPA All-Freshman team, tied a team-high with 29 assists as a true freshman, along with 12 goals and 33 steals. Gallagher, an All-WWPA second-team selection, started all 34 games in the net with 205 saves, 12 steals
The Tritons have big shoes to fill after losing six seniors to graduation, including 2017 WWPA Player of the Year Lauren Boyer and first-team WWPA selection Alexis Wieseler. UC San Diego also lost Hanna Schneider, Connie Wu and Rachel Emami and WWPA honorable mention Lani Tittle, each of which left the program with four WWPA titles and four NCAA Championship appearances.
The Tritons are coming off a 19-15 season and their fifth-straight WWPA title in 2017. UC San Diego also hosted an opening-round National Collegiate Water Polo Championship game for the fourth year in a row.
ABOUT THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine enters Friday night's contest with a 9-13 overall record, but all 13 of the Anteaters' losses have come against opponents ranked in the top-10. UCI is coming off consecutive losses to top-10 foes, including a close loss to No. 10 UC Davis, 9-8, on April 7 before suffering a narrow defeat to No. 8 Pacific, 12-9, on April 8. Freshman Tara Prentice leads UC Irvine this season with 32 goals and has scored four goals in three separate games. In addition, senior Natalie Seidemann has recorded 28 goals on the year, while junior goalkeeper Jena Phreaner has tallied 111 saves this season.
UC San Diego is 7-37 (.159) all-time against UC Irvine, with the Tritons falling to the Anteaters twice last season.
HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP CLIMBS ALL-TIME WINS LIST
Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his ninth season at the
TRITONS PICKED FIRST IN WWPA COACHES’ POLL
The UC San Diego women's water polo team was selected to capture the 2018 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches. It is the sixth-straight year and the seventh time in the last eight seasons UC San Diego has earned the top spot in the poll.
2018 WWPA Women's Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. UC San Diego, 49 points (7 first-place votes)
2. Cal State East Bay, 42 (1)
3. Sonoma State, 37
4. Fresno Pacific, 27
5. Cal State Monterey Bay, 26
6. Mercyhurst, 21
T-7. Gannon, 11
T-7. McKendree, 11
BIG (WEST) NEWS FOR UC SAN DIEGO ATHLETICS
On Nov. 27, UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020 and will play a full Big West schedule. However, UC San Diego women's water polo joins the Big West Conference one year early in the fall of 2019. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. Read the full press release here.
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FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UC San Diego home athletic events, and much more!
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Following Friday night's road contest, the Tritons return home for the Harper Cup against San Diego State on Friday, April 20, beginning at 6 p.m.