Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Leah Gonzales has 18 goals and 20 assists on the season.
WWPA Action Begins This Weekend for No. 13 UCSD
Release: Friday 04/04/2014 

at Sonoma State (6-16, 3-2 WWPA)
Saturday, Apr. 5 • 10 a.m.
Dr. G. Edward Rudloff Pool • Rohnert Park

vs. Cal State Monterey Bay (9-12, 2-1 WWPA)
Saturday, Apr. 5 • 1 p.m.
Dr. G. Edward Rudloff Pool • Rohnert Park

vs. Cal State East Bay (13-10, 2-1 WWPA)
Sunday, Apr. 6 • 11:30 a.m.
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara

vs. Pacific (11-13, 1-2 GCC)
Sunday, Apr. 6 • 3 p.m.
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara

UC San Diego begins Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) this weekend with three conference matches and one non-conference game. The Tritons, currently ranked No. 20, stand at 18-10 overall. UCSD faces Sonoma State and Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday in Rohnert Park before traveling to Santa Clara to take on Cal State East Bay and Pacific, with the Tigers being the lone non-league matchup of the weekend.  

In the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll released Ap. 2, 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.

T-1. Cal State East Bay: 3-1, 12-10
T-1. Sonoma State: 3-1, 6-16
3. Cal State Monterey Bay: 2-1, 9-12
4. UC San Diego: 0-0, 18-10
5. Cal State San Bernardino: 0-5, 2-19

UCSD used a strong defensive effort and a balanced scoring attack to sink the Sunbirds of Fresno Pacific, 13-2, last Friday night at Canyonview Aquatic Center. Julia Kirkland and Melissa Bartow led the charge offensively with two goals apiece, while Courtney Miller and Alexsee Wilcox totaled 12 combined saves in the cage. The Tritons led from start to finish after Bartow led off the game with a score in the opening quarter. UCSD scored four times in the second period to grab a 6-1 advantage at the intermission. The Tritons finished off the victory by scoring seven times in the final two periods, as seven different players scored a goal. The two goals allowed marks the third time this season the Tritons have allowed two scores or less. UCSD allowed a single score against Occidental on Mar. 7.

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 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 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 285 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 158. 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.

Seniors Melissa Bartow and Allison Delgado were designated as captains for the 2014 season. The two veterans were also captains last season.

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.

The Tritons have reached as high as No. 6 in the national rankings in 2014 ... The Tritons are outscoring opponents 86-51 in the opening quarter …  UCSD is currently shooting .409 as a team … The Tritons have converted 81 six-on-five advantages compared to the opponents 67 … Sarah Lizotte has scored 285 career goals, good for first in school history to break Julie Swail’s record of 245. Lizotte also sits in first with 158 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 264 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 623. She has 249 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.

UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his fifth season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 101-78, with a winning percentage of .564. 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.

Sonoma State enters with a 6-16 overall record and a 3-2 mark in WWPA play. The Seawolves are most recently coming off a 9-7 win over conference foe Cal State Monterey Bay in Seaside. SSU has also picked up wins over Cal State San Bernardino in WWPA play, while the pair of losses has come against Cal State East Bay. The Seawolves are led by Noelle Herrera’s 31 goals and Brittny Hummel’s 17 assists offensively. Kim Covert and Andrea Mallul split time in the cage and have recorded 68 and 88 saves, respectively. The head coach of SSU, in her seventh season, is Coralie Simmons.

UCSD holds a commanding 14-1 all-time series record against Sonoma State. The Tritons won both meetings in 2013, the first on Jan. 27 in an 11-6 decision and the second on Apr. 6 in an 14-5 win.

Cal State Monterey Bay enters with a 9-12 overall record and a 2-1 mark in WWPA play. The Otters split a pair of games last week against Sonoma State and UC Santa Cruz on Mar. 28-29. CSUMB fell to the Seawolves in WWPA action, 9-7, before beating the Banana Slugs, 16-1. Offensively, the Otters are led by Adrianna Craft’s 31 goals. Samantha Whitecotton (23) and Bree Hogervorst (20) are the two other CSUMB offensive threats with 20 or more goals on the year. Amanda Jennings spearheads the defense in the cage and has totaled 244 blocks on the season. The head coach of the Otters, in his ninth year, is Gary Figueroa.

UCSD holds a perfect 6-0 all-time record against Cal State Monterey Bay. The Tritons won the last meeting 14-3 at the CCAA Invitational in 2013.

Cal State East Bay enters with a 13-10 overall record and stands at 2-1 in CCAA play. The Pioneers have won five straight games over Chapman (6-5), Connecticut College (11-5), Cal State San Bernardino (14-6) and La Verne (16-9) on Mar. 22-23. CSUEB is led by Sara Hudyn’s 64 goals. Taylor Cross is the team’s second-leading scorer with 27. Marrina Nation spearheads the defense inside the cage. Nation has totaled 222 saves on the season and sports a 9.44 goals against average. The head coach of the Pioneers, in her 12th season, is Lisa Cooper.

UCSD holds a perfect 7-0 all-time series record against Cal State East Bay. The Tritons won both meetings in 2013. In the first contest, UCSD won 12-10 at the Bronco Invitational before earning the season sweep with a 9-8 win at the CCAA Invitational.

Pacific, a member of the Golden Coast Conference (GCC), enters with an 11-13 overall record and a 1-2 mark in GCC play. The Tigers most recently dropped a pair of games to Loyola Marymount (10-7) and California Baptist (10-9) on Mar. 28-29. Pacific has two players that have scored 40 or more goals in Taylor Adair (42) and Gracie Smith (41). Meghan Nee leads the defense in the cage and sports a 7.65 goals against average with 200 saves on the season. The head coach of the Tigers, in his second season, is James Graham.

UCSD holds a 9-3 all-time series record against Pacific. The last meeting came in 2013 at the UCI Invitational, a contest won by the Tritons 9-8.

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The Tritons continue WWPA action next week with a single game against Cal State San Bernardino at Canyonview Aquatic Center on Friday, Apr. 11 at 6 p.m.


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