Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Sophomore Ciara Franke and the Tritons are picked to win the 2019 WWPA championship by the league's coaches, and begin the 2019 season this weekend at the UCSB Winter Invite.

Tritons Picked First in WWPA Preseason Poll, Begin Season at UCSB Winter Invite

UC San Diego

OAKLAND — The No. 15 University of California San Diego women’s water polo team was picked to finish first in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference announced on Friday.

It’s the seventh-consecutive season the Tritons have been the preseason favorite, and eighth time in the last nine years. UC San Diego has won the WWPA Championship in each of the previous six years.

The Tritons received 64 points in the poll and eight first-place votes. Cal State East Bay placed second with 57 points and one first-place vote, followed by Sonoma State (44), Fresno Pacific (42), Cal State Monterey Bay (40), Mercyhurst (28), McKendree (21), Gannon (15) and new first--year member Salem (13).

UC San Diego is coming off a 24-12 campaign and a berth in the NCAA Opening Round in 2018.

The Tritons return five starters and 17 players total from last season’s squad, including All-WWPA First-Team selections senior Chanel Schilling, senior Krista Schneider and junior goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher. In addition, sophomore Grace Pevehouse earned All-WWPA Honorable Mention, while Taylor Onstott was named WWPA Newcomer of the Year and joined Ciara Franke on the WWPA All-Freshman Team.

UC San Diego is led by 10th-year head coach reigning WWPA Coach of the Year Brad Kreutzkamp, who is second all-time in coaching victories for the program with an overall record of 200-140 (.588).

The Tritons begin the 2019 season this weekend at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational. UC San Diego takes on No. 13 Indiana and Azusa Pacific on Saturday, Jan. 19, before facing defending national champion USC in addition to an NCAA Tournament rematch against Wagner on Sunday, Jan. 20.

2019 WWPA Preseason Coaches Poll (first-place votes)
1. UC San Diego - 64 points, (8)
2. Cal State East Bay - 57 points, (1)
3. Sonoma State - 44 points
4. Fresno Pacific - 42 points
5. Cal State Monterey Bay - 40 points
6. Mercyhurst - 28 points
7. McKendree - 21 points
8. Gannon - 15 points
9. Salem - 13 points

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UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank:  (CWPA)
Overall: 0-0
WWPA: 0-0
Home: 0-0
Away: 0-0
Neutral: 0-0

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THE SCHEDULE
Game 1
vs. Indiana (0-0, 0-0 MPSF)
Saturday, Jan. 19 • 12 p.m.
Santa Barbara (Recreation Center) • Santa Barbara, Calif.

Game 2
vs. Azusa Pacific (0-0, 0-0 GCC)
Saturday, Jan. 19 • 4:30 p.m.
Santa Barbara (Recreation Center) • Santa Barbara, Calif.

Game 3
vs. USC (0-0, 0-0 MPSF)
Sunday, Jan. 20 • 9:45 a.m.
Santa Barbara (Campus Pool) • Santa Barbara, Calif.

Game 4
vs. Wagner (0-0, 0-0 MAAC)
Sunday, Jan. 20 • 1:30 p.m.
Santa Barbara (Campus Pool) • Santa Barbara, Calif.

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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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WATCH HOME GAMES LIVE AT UCSDTRITONS.TV
UC San Diego home matches will be streamed live at UCSDtritons.tv ($5.99) with action from Canyonview Aquatic Center.

UCSD

TRITON NOTES

  • The Tritons are ranked No. 15 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Preseason Top 25.
  • UC San Diego has won six-consecutive Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) championships en route to six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • The Tritons finished with an overall record of 24-12 in 2018, including 11 victories over ranked opponents.
  • UC San Diego returns four players who received ACWPC All-America accolades last season, including first-team selection Chanel Schilling, second-team choices Krista Schneider and Reilly Gallagher and honorable mention Taylor Onstott.
  • Seven Tritons earned All-WWPA honors last season, led by senior center Chanel Schilling, senior attack Krista Schneider and junior goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher.
  • Taylor Onstott was an All-WWPA Second-Team selection in 2018 and was named WWPA Newcomer of the Year last season as a freshman. Onstott was third on the team with 59 total points (41 goals, 18 assists) and was second with 45 assists.
  • Ciara Franke joined Onstott on the All-Freshman Team, finishing with 37 points on 29 goals, eight assists and a team-high 64 steals.
  • Sophomore Grace Pevehouse earned All-WWPA Honorable Mention in 2018, finishing with 56 total points on 40 goals and 16 assists, along with 32 steals.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Bennett Bugelli started 10 games in 2018 with a 7-5 record in the net. The San Diego native recorded 138 saves and was named WWPA Championship MVP.
  • Senior Shelby Stender finished fifth on the team last season with 40 total points on 20 goals and 20 assists. She also tallied 20 steals and was a perfect 7-for-7 in sprints.
  • Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp was named WWPA Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.
  • Kreutzkamp vaulted into second place in all-time victories at UC San Diego last season, and won his 200th career game in the WWPA Championship final against Cal State East Bay.

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WWPA Standings
1. UC San Diego: 0-0, 0-0
2. Mercyhurst: 0-0, 0-0
3.  Cal State East Bay: 0-0, 0-0
4.  Fresno Pacific: 0-0, 0-0 
5.  Gannon: 0-0, 0-0
6.  Sonoma State: 0-0, 0-0 
7.  McKendree: 0-0, 0-0
8.  Cal State Monterey Bay: 0-0, 0-0

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UC SAN DIEGO NATIONAL RANKINGS
For full rankings click here.
• Preseason: 15

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MEET THE 2019 TRITONS
The Tritons return five starters and 17 players total from last season’s squad, including All-WWPA First-Team selections senior Chanel Schilling, senior Krista Schneider and junior goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher. In addition, sophomore Grace Pevehouse earned All-WWPA Honorable Mention, while Taylor Onstott was named WWPA Newcomer of the Year and joined Ciara Franke on the WWPA All-Freshman Team.

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2018 YEAR IN REVIEW
UC San Diego is coming off a 24-12 campaign in 2018 and a berth in the NCAA Opening Round. The Tritons defeated 11 ranked opponents and won their sixth-consecutive WWPA Championship en route to a sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Five Tritons received ACWPC All-America accolades last season, including first-team selections Kayla Fedler and Chanel Schilling, second-team choices Krista Schneider and Reilly Gallagher, and honorable mention Taylor Onstott. Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp was named WWPA Coach of the Year for the fourth time in nine seasons at the helm, as he also moved up into second place all-time in coaching victories for the program. 

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HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP 
Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his 10th season at the helm, and ranks second all-time in victories in UC San Diego women's water polo history with a record of 200-140 (.588). Last season, Kreutzkamp passed former head coach Larry Sanders' total of 180 wins amassed during his tenure from 2000-09. A four-time ACWPC Coach of the Year and four-time WWPA Coach of the Year, Kreutzkamp has led the Tritons to seven WWPA championships and seven NCAA Championship appearances in nine seasons. Last season, the Tritons captured their sixth-straight WWPA title and seventh overall under Kreutzkamp's leadership. A former head coach of both the boy's and girl's varsity programs at Grossmont High School from 1996-99, Kreutzkamp came to UC San Diego as an assistant coach with the women's team in 1999 before joining longtime head coach Denny Harper on the men's staff the following season. You can read Kreutzkamp's complete bio here.

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GEAR UP
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UC San Diego Athletics' online partner, Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.

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!

SOCIAL MEDIA (#BigWestBound)
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UP NEXT
UC San Diego plays host to future Big West Conference foe Hawai'i in the Tritons' home opener on Sunday, Feb. 3, beginning at 2 p.m.

#BigWestBound

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