at No. 12 Long Beach State (6-5)
Friday, Feb. 28 • 6 p.m.
Campus Pool • Long Beach
at No. 6 UC Irvine (11-6)
Saturday, Mar. 1 • 12 p.m.
Anteater Aquatics Complex • Irvine
No. 11 UC San Diego hits the road for a two-game nonconference set against No. 12 Long Beach State and No. 6 UC Irvine this weekend. The games will take place Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Tritons stand at 10-6 overall and have six wins against top-20 teams this season. UCSD follows the two game set with a pair of tournaments, Claremont Convergence and Aztec Invite, before returning to La Jolla on Mar. 23 for a showdown with No. 3 Stanford.
In the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll released Feb. 26, UCSD was slated No. 11 in the nation. The Tritons have reached as high as No. 6 this season, which marks the highest mark since head coach Brad Kreutzkamp took over the program in 2010.
UCI INVITATIONAL REWIND
After opening the UCI Invitational with a win, the Tritons finished with a 1-3 record. UCSD faced four top-10 teams, which included an upset victory over then sixth-ranked Hawaii. UCSD captured a 10-9 victory in sudden death with a game-winning goal from Jolene Guiliana and a career-high 20 saves from Courtney Miller. Melissa Bartow led the charge offensively, scoring a hat trick from the two-meter line. In the final game of day one for UCSD, the Tritons fell victim to a sluggish second half after jumping out to a quick lead against UCLA to lose 8-6. Sarah Lizotte finished with a pair of scores to lead the Tritons, while Miller recorded another double-digit save performance with 13 in the loss. The following day, UCSD dropped a pair of decisions to Arizona State, 10-4, and CSU Northridge, 9-7. Guiliana led the Tritons offensively on the day with four total goals, while Miller finished the day with 30 saves to lead the Triton defense.
BACK EAST AT THE BISON INVITE
After experiencing some travel issues due to severe weather, the Tritons finally made it to Lewisburg, PA with a 10-hour bus ride after being stuck in Chicago overnight. After making it to host Bucknell, the Tritons finally were able to jump in the water and play some polo. UCSD went 3-1 on the weekend and picked up two more top-20 wins to add to its resume. The Tritons opened the Bison Invitational with a 13-7 win over No. 20 Michigan and fell in game two, 9-8, to No. 8 Princeton at Kinney Natatorium. UCSD received seven goals from Sarah Lizotte and 13 saves from Courtney Miller on the day. The following day, UCSD finished the Invite with consecutive victories over George Washington, 14-7, and No. 20 Wagner, 10-9. Jolene Guiliana recorded a hat trick in game one before Courtney Miller blocked 15 shots in the second game to power the Tritons to the day sweep. After a long, tiring weekend of travel and polo, the Tritons earned themselves some fun and took to the snow before heading home!
TRITON INVITATIONAL RECAP
UCSD hosted the 2014 Triton Invitational on Feb. 8-9 and finished 2-2 to place seventh. UCSD beat Marist in the opening game, 16-9, before falling to No. 11 Loyola Marymount, 7-6, in the nightcap at Canyonview Aquatic Center on day one. UCSD received a hat trick from Sarah Lizotte and Melissa Bartow each to power the Tritons in the win over Marist in game one. In game two, LMU mounted a comeback in the final seconds to force overtime and escape with a win despite a pair of scores from Lizotte and Alexis Wieseler. Lizotte led the Tritons on the day with five total scores, while Courtney Miller stopped 16 shots in the cage. On Sunday, the Tritons split a pair of games and fell to No. 12 Long Beach State, 9-7, before beating No. 20 Santa Clara, 11-7. Lizotte tallied seven scores on the day, while Bartow pored in four goals. Miller ended the day with 15 saves on the day.
UCSD began the year at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invite and returned to La Jolla with a perfect 4-0 record. UCSD opened the 2014 season with a pair of wins on day one of the Invite. The Tritons beat Concordia in game one, 21-2, before upsetting No. 5 Arizona State, 12-11, in the final game of the day. Sarah Lizotte and Alexis Wieseler led the Tritons on the day with seven goals apiece between the pair of victories. The following day, UCSD defeated No. 17 UC Santa Barbara, 11-7, and CSU Bakersfield, 14-8, to complete a weekend sweep at the UCSB Winter Invite. Wieseler and Leah Gonzales led the Tritons with four goals apiece on the day, while Courtney Miller recorded 14 saves in the cage.
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.
Sarah Lizotte broke the UCSD all-time career scoring and assists records at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 8-9. The senior has scored 266 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 130. 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.
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.
UCSD is currently 8-4 when playing at a neutral site ... Sarah Lizotte has scored 266 career goals, good for first in school history to break Julie Swail’s record of 245. Lizotte also sits in first with 134 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 241 ejections in her career, which marks the UCSD all-time career record. Bartow is currently the UCSD all-time career leader in penalties drawn (29) as well … Courtney Miller holds the UCSD single-season record of saves (374) and sits in eighth in career saves … Jolene Guillana also shares the UCSD single-season assists record (67) with Lizotte, and sits in sixth (65) on the single-season steals list … Alexis Wiesseler 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 83-68, with a winning percentage of .543. 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 49ERS
Long Beach State, ranked No. 12 in the nation, enters Friday with a 6-5 overall record. LBSU was at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 8-9 and finished with a 2-2 record. On day one, the 49ers grabbed a win over UC Davis (7-5) before falling to UC Irvine (7-4). LBSU wrapped up the Invite with a win over the Tritons (9-7) and a loss to CSU Northridge (4-3). The 49ers are most recently are coming off a 15-7 loss against No. 4 Cal on Feb. 15 and a 14-11 win over Sonoma State on Feb. 16. Offensively, Chelsea Parks leads LBSU with 20 goals on the season, while Justine Morgan and Coriann Snyder have found the back of the cage 16 and 15 times, respectively. Kelly Ringel averages 6.97 saves per game, for a total of 80 saves to power the 49er defense in the cage. Gavin Arroyo is currently in his sixth year at the helm.
Long Beach State currently holds a 17-8 all-time series record against UCSD. Friday’s meeting will mark the second meeting of 2014, as LBSU beat the Tritons 9-7 at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 9. With the game tied 5-5 in the third quarter, LBSU closed the quarter with two scores to grab a 7-6 advantage as the final period approached. The Tritons cut the deficit to one, 8-7, following a Sarah Lizotte score, but LBSU closed out the win with a goal in the final minute to win, 9-7. Lizotte finished the game with four goals, while Alexis Wieseler added two and Leah Gonzales found the back of the cage once. Courtney Miller recorded nine saves in the cage in the loss.
ABOUT THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine, ranked No. 6 in the nation, enters with an 11-6 overall record in 2014. The Anteaters have reached as high as No. 5 in the national poll, which marks the first time in program history. UCI is coming off a sixth place finish at their own tournament, the highest finish in school history. The Anteaters opened the Invitational with a win over UC Davis, 8-5, before falling to Cal, 12-6. On the final day of the Invite, UCI defeated CSU Northridge, 7-6, before concluding with a loss against Arizona State, 9-8. Offensively, UCI sports four players with 20 or more scores on the year: Danielle Ward (28), Jessy Cardey (27), McKenna Mitchell (24) and Hannah Croghan (23). The Anteaters average 10.8 scores per game and has only been shut out in a period four times. The cage is spearheaded by Jilian Yocum, who has totaled 72 saves for an average of six blocks per game. Head coach Dan Klatt is currently in his 10th season as head coach.
UC Irvine holds a commanding 28-7 all-time series record against UCSD. The last meeting came on Mar. 3, 2013, a game won by the Anteaters 8-6.
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UCSD travels to the Claremont Convergence next weekend to play a four-game set in Pomona. The Tritons will play Occidental (2 p.m.) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6 p.m.) on Saturday, Mar. 7 before closing out the set with games against Hawaii (1 p.m.) and Pomona-Pitzer (5 p.m.).