vs. Pomona-Pitzer (23-13)
Saturday, May 3 • 4 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
No. 12 UC San Diego was awarded the No. 7 seed at the 2014 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championship after finishing the year 26-10 overall and winning its third Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title. The Tritons will host No. 10 seed Pomona-Pitzer (23-13) Saturday, May 3 at Canyonview Aquatic Center for the right to head to the NCAA Championship. The winner will advance to play No. 2 UCLA (25-4) May 9-11 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.
General admission tickets can be purchased for $5 dollars at the entrance of Canyonview Aquatic Center. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance gate one hour prior to game time. There will be no advance sales of tickets for the general public.
Saturday’s play-in contest can be watched for free by clicking here.
ROAD TO THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
UCSD will be attempting to reach the championship for the third time in four years, previously competing in 2011 and 2013. The highest finish was last season, as the Tritons took sixth. The 10-team field will be reduced to eight for the National Collegiate Championship in Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles. 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 play-in games. The other play-in game will feature No. 8 seed Indiana (22-5) against No. 9 seed Wagner (25-11). The winner will face top-seeded Stanford (22-1) in the championship bracket. Rounding out the field is No. 3 seed Southern California (24-3) facing No. 6 seed UC Irvine (24-7), and No. 4 seed California (19-8) playing No. 5 seed Arizona State (15-10). Automatic qualifiers were awarded to the Big West Conference (UC Irvine), Collegiate Water Polo Association (Indiana), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Wagner), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (Stanford), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Pomona-Pitzer) and the Western Water Polo Association (UC San Diego). The remaining four teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions. The 2014 championship will be an eight-team, single-elimination tournament (12 games), with a losers’ bracket to determine places three through eight.
LIZOTTE REPEATS AS PLAYER OF THE YEAR; SEVEN TRITONS HONORED BY WWPA
UCSD’S Sarah Lizotte was tabbed the WWPA Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while six other Tritons were honored by the league Wednesday. Melissa Bartow and Courtney Miller joined Lizotte on the WWPA First Team. In addition, Jolene Guiliana and Alexis Wieseler were awarded WWPA Second Team honors and Julia Kirkland was a member of the Third Team. Lauren Boyer was the conference’s Newcomer of the Year after earning a place on the All-Freshman Team. The seven Tritons honored by the league marks a program record for head coach Brad Kreutzkamp.
In the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll released April 30, UCSD was slated for No. 12 in the nation. The Tritons have reached as high as No. 6 this season, which marks the highest ranking since head coach Brad Kreutzkamp took over the program in 2010.
UCSD earned its third WWPA title in four years in convincing fashion Sunday, April 27, downing Cal State East Bay 16-3 at Canyonview Aquatic Center. Jolene Guiliana, named the WWPA Championships Most Valuable Player, led the charge offensively with five scores to pace the Triton offense, while All-Tournament First Team member and WWPA Player of the Year Sarah Lizotte found the back of the cage four times in the win. Courtney Miller, also named to the All-Tournament First Team, blocked 10 shots in goal to limit the Pioneer offense throughout the day. UCSD came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and quickly distanced themselves from CSUEB. The Tritons scored the first seven goals of the game and never looked back.
FINAL WWPA STANDINGS
1. UC San Diego: 4-0, 26-10
T-2. Cal State East Bay: 2-2, 17-14
T-2. Cal State Monterey Bay: 2-2, 9-18
T-2. Sonoma State: 2-2, 8-21
5. Cal State San Bernardino: 0-4, 3-24
13th-ANNUAL HARPER CUP
Leah Gonzales scored a pair of goals and dished out an assist as UCSD defeated No. 19 San Diego State, 8-5, in the 13th annual Harper Cup last Friday night at Canyonview Aquatic Center in front of a crowd of 761. The win marks the first ever Harper Cup victory for the Tritons in the 13-year history. Gonzales was named the Harper Cup’s Most Valuable Player for her production on both ends of the pool. She is the second Triton to ever be named the MVP, as Sarah Lizotte earned the honor in 2012. The win also snapped UCSD’s 21-game losing streak against the Aztecs. The Tritons were led by Gonzales’ two scores, as well as two goals apiece from Alexis Wieseler, Julia Kirkland and Jolene Guiliana. Courtney Miller was strong in the cage and contained the Aztec offense all night to finish with 13 saves. The Harper Cup is named for UCSD’s men’s water polo coach Denny Harper, who played at San Diego State and graduated as an undergraduate in 1978. He established the SDSU women’s water polo club team and went on to coach UCSD’s women’s team to five collegiate national championships from 1985-1999.
LIZOTTE EARNS FOURTH CAREER WWPA HONOR
Sarah Lizotte was named the WWPA Player of the Week for the week of Mar. 31-Apr. 6. The senior powered UCSD to a 4-0 weekend that included three wins over WWPA foes Sonoma State, Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State East Bay. The final victory came against non-conference opponent Pacific. Lizotte totaled 13 goals and eight assists in the four wins. The Riverside native led off the weekend with a two-goal performance against Sonoma State before recording a hat trick, along with three assists, against CSUMB. She followed with four goals and an assist against CSUEB. In the final win against Pacific, Lizotte totaled four goals and dished out four assists in the 13-11 win.
GUILIANA GARNERS CONFERENCE AWARD
Jolene Guiliana was named the WWPA Player of the Week for the week of Mar. 13. The Irvine native totaled nine goals and five assists in four games for UCSD. In a 16-1 win over Occidental, Guiliana totaled a hat trick of goals to go along with three dimes. She followed with a career-high five goals and an assist in a win against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 18-9. The following day, the junior scored a pair of goals and dished out a helper in an 11-6 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. It marked the first such honor of her career.
COURTNEY IN THE CAGE
Courtney Miller was named the Kap7/Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 24. The sophomore from Honolulu, HI led No. 11 UCSD to an upset of No. 6 Hawaii at the UCI Invitational. Miller finished with 63 saves at the four game Invitational and recorded double-digit blocks in each game. Miller recorded a career-high 20 saves in the 10-9 sudden death victory over Hawaii in the opener. She followed with a 13-save performance against No. 3 UCLA in an 8-6 loss. Miller finished out the Invitational with 13 blocks against No. 7 Arizona State and 17 saves against No. 10 CSU Northridge.
LIZOTTE NAMED FEBRUARY STAR OF THE MONTH
Sarah Lizotte was named a San Diego Hall of Champions Star of the Month for February. Lizotte totaled 27 goals in February with nine multi-goal efforts, as the Triton women’s water polo team picked up seven wins, including five over top-20 squads. During the Triton Invitational on Feb. 8-9, the product of Riverside (Riverside Poly HS) broke UCSD's career scoring and assists records in front of the home crowd at Canyonview Aquatic Center as well. The San Diego Hall of Champions honors outstanding athletes from San Diego, as well as athletes who have achieved stardom for local teams.
Sarah Lizotte broke the UCSD all-time career scoring and assists records at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 8-9. The senior has scored 302 career goals to pass Triton Hall of Fame member, Olympian and former captain of the U.S. National Water Polo team Julie Swail's record of 245. Lizotte also passed Jamie Dailey's mark of 125 assists to put her total at 169. She also currently holds the UCSD single-season record for goals (92), attempts (228) and assists (67).Check out the U-T San Diego’s piece on her accomplishments by clicking here.
WWPA PRESEASON POLL
UCSD has been slated to finish first in the 2014 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) standings according to the league’s annual preseason coaches’ poll. The defending WWPA champion Tritons were a unanimous pick to reclaim the title in 2014 after garnering the maximum 16 points, including four first-place votes. Sonoma State was picked second and earned 12 points, while Cal State East Bay followed with 11 points in third. The Pioneers also received the final first-place vote. Rounding out the standings, Cal State Monterey Bay (6) was fourth and Cal State San Bernardino (5) was picked fifth.
PLENTY OF TALENT RETURNING
The Tritons return many key players for the 2014 campaign, highlighted by Sarah Lizotte. The senior from Riverside was named the 2013 NCAA Division II Player of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPAC), Division II All-American First Team, Division I All-American Honorable Mention, WWPA Player of the Year and All-WWPA First Team after scoring 92 goals and dishing out 67 assists, both single-season UCSD records. The Tritons also return sophomore Courtney Miller in the cage, who was named All-American First Team and All-WWPA First Team after setting the school single-season record for saves at 317. UCSD also returns senior Melissa Bartow (All-American First Team, All-WWPA First Team), sophomore Alexis Wieseler (All-American Second Team, All-WWPA Honorable Mention), senior Leah Gonzales, junior Jolene Guiliana and sophomore Julia Kirkland.
The Tritons have reached as high as No. 6 in the national rankings in 2014 ... UCSD has won nine-straight games … The Tritons are outscoring opponents 118-60 in the opening quarter … UCSD is currently shooting .412 as a team … The Tritons have converted 108 six-on-five advantages compared to the opponents 80 … Sarah Lizotte has scored 309 career goals, good for first in school history to break Julie Swail’s record of 245. Lizotte also sits in first with 171 assists to pass Jamie Dailey’s mark of 125. She also currently holds the UCSD single-season record for goals (92), attempts (228) and assists (67) … Melissa Bartow has drawn 271 ejections in her career, which marks the UCSD all-time career record. Bartow is currently the UCSD all-time career leader in penalties drawn (40) as well. She has drawn 11 penalties in 2014, good for fifth on the all-time single season list … Leah Gonzaels ranks seventh on UCSD’s all-time career assists list with 102 … Courtney Miller holds the UCSD single-season record of saves (374) and sits in fourth in career saves with 601. She has 321 blocks on the year, which puts her in third on the all-time single season list. She recorded a career-high 20 saves against Hawaii (2/22) … Jolene Guiliana also shares the UCSD single-season assists record (67) with Lizotte, and sits in sixth (65) on the single-season steals list … Alexis Wieseler sits in seventh on the UCSD single-season goals list (72) … The Tritons sport 21 California natives on their roster, with Courtney Miller (Honolulu, HI), Lauren Boyer (Honolulu, HI) and Nicole Gerwin (British Columbia, Canada) the three players from out of state.
HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP
UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his fifth season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 109-78, with a winning percentage of .574. In his four seasons at the helm, Kreutzkamp has led UCSD to a pair of Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships and two appearances at the NCAA Championship. In his fourth season, Kreutzkamp led UCSD to an NCAA Championship berth after knocking off Loyola Marymount, 10-8, in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title game. The 12th-ranked Tritons finished a program-best sixth place at NCAA Championship and closed the season with a 26-15 overall mark, recording the most wins since the 1994 national championship squad went 28-2. He was honored as the Division II Coach of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) and was also named WWPA Coach of the Year. In 2012, Kreutzkamp led the Tritons to their most wins since 2003 in his third season at the helm. UCSD finished 21-14 overall and narrowly missed their second straight trip to the NCAA Championship. He guided the Tritons to an 18-20 overall record in 2011, leading the Tritons to their first WWPA title since 2000 and the school’s first appearance at the NCAA Championship in program history. Kreutzkamp came to UCSD 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. Prior to his arrival on the La Jolla campus, Kreutzkamp was the head coach of both the boys and girls varsity programs at Grossmont High School from 1996-99.
ABOUT THE SAGEHENS
Pomona-Pitzer enters with a 23-13 overall record and earned their spot in the NCAA play-in game by winning the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title. The Sagehens are currently riding an eight game win streak. The SCIAC title marked the sixth in eight years. P-P is led by Alyssa Woodward’s 84 goals, while Sarah Westcott has totaled 55 scores. The offense averages 9.63 goals per game. The defense is spearheaded by goalkeepers Ahsha Earwood and Sallie Walecka, who have amassed 180 saves and 124 blocks, respectively. The defense allowed 8.77 goals per game and averages 8.69 saves per game. The head coach at Pomona-Pitzer, in his ninth season, is Alex Rodriguez.
UCSD holds 11-0 all-time series record against Pomona-Pitzer. The Tritons defeated the Sagehens at the Claremont Convergence Tournament on Mar. 8 in a 11-6 contest. The two teams also met at the NCAA Championship last season, a game the Tritons won 15-8. Lizotte poured in five goals in the win for UCSD.
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The winner will advance to play No. 2 UCLA (25-4) at the NCAA Championship May 9-11 at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in Los Angeles.