vs. Fresno Pacific (7-15, 0-2 GCC)
Friday, Mar. 28 • 6 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
UC San Diego continues non-conference play this week against Fresno Pacific. Friday’s matchup is followed with Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) play on Apr. 5 against Sonoma State and Cal State Monterey Bay and Apr. 6 versus Cal State East Bay. A single contest against Pacific is also scheduled for Apr. 6 at Santa Clara. The opening sprint against the Sunbirds is slated for 6 p.m. at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
In the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll released Mar. 26, UCSD was slated No. 13 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.
Third-ranked Stanford proved too much to handle last Sunday as No. 13 UCSD fell to the Cardinal, 21-7, at Canyonview Aquatic Center. Stanford poured in five goals to open the match and never looked back to win its fifth straight game. UCSD was led by a hat trick from Jolene Guiliana and two scores apiece from Sarah Lizotte and Julia Kirkland. The Cardinal was led by Maggie Steffens’ four goals. The sophomore driver, who is a member of the U.S. National Team and led all players with 21 goals at the 2012 London Games, was a force at the two-meter line all day. Courtney Miller stopped three shots in the cage for UCSD.
GUILIANA GARNERS CONFERENCE HONOR
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 284 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 156. 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 ... The Tritons are outscoring opponents 84-51 in the opening quarter … UCSD is currently shooting .409 as a team … The Tritons have converted 78 six-on-five advantages compared to the opponents 66 … Sarah Lizotte has scored 284 career goals, good for first in school history to break Julie Swail’s record of 245. Lizotte also sits in first with 156 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 262 ejections in her career, which marks the UCSD all-time career record. Bartow is currently the UCSD all-time career leader in penalties drawn (39) as well. She has drawn 10 penalties in 2014, good for fifth on the all-time single season list … Courtney Miller holds the UCSD single-season record of saves (374) and sits in eighth in career saves with 617. She has 243 blocks on the year, which puts her in eighth 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 100-78, with a winning percentage of .561. 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 SUNBIRDS
Fresno Pacific, a member of the new Golden Coast Conference (GCC), enters with a 7-15 overall record and an 0-2 mark in GCC play. The Sunbirds most recently are coming off an 11-7 loss at Azusa Pacific on Mar. 21. Offensively, FPU averages 5.36 goals per game. Emily Marr’s 24 goals pace the Sunbird offense, while Alyssa Stevens leads the team in assists with 21. The FPU defense allows 11.36 goals per contest and averages 10.36 saves per game. Kelsie Harvey spearheads the defense in the cage with 199 blocks on the season. The head coach of Fresno Pacific, in his seventh season, is Bryan Suhovy.
UCSD holds a perfect 2-0 all-time record against Fresno Pacific. The last meeting came in 2012 in La Jolla at the UCSD Mini Tournament. The Tritons won 16-5 behind three goals from Melissa Bartow.
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The Tritons begin WWPA play next week in a four-game weekend. UCSD faces conference foes Sonoma State (10 a.m.) and Cal State Monterey Bay (1 p.m.) on Saturday, Apr. 5. The following day, the Tritons take on conference member Cal State East Bay (11:30 a.m.) and play a non-league contest against Pacific (3 p.m.).