LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego women's water polo team will take the No. 2 seed to the WWPA Championships this Friday-Sunday at Chabot Community College, hosted by Cal State East Bay
Game No. 33
UC San Diego (14-18, 9-1 WWPA) vs. Cal State Bakersfield (8-28, 4-9 WWPA)
Friday, April 29 - 1:30 p.m.
Chabot Community College - Hawyard, Calif.
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SECOND TIME'S A CHARM
UCSD will own the WWPA's second seed when it heads of for the WWPA Championships Apr. 29-May 1, hosted by Cal State East Bay at Chabot Community College. The Tritons went 9-1 against WWPA opponents this season, trailing only No. 8 Loyola Marymount, who was 11-0 and earned the No. 1 seed. Santa Clara earned the third seed while Colorado State was named the fourth seed. The rest of the 2011 seedings are No. 5 CSUEB, No. 6 Sonoma State, No. 7 Cal State Bakersfield, No. 8 Cal State Monterey Bay and No. 9 Cal State San Bernardino. UCSD will open WWPA Championships play on Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Cal State Bakersfield. UCSD defeated CSUB twice this year, 13-10 and 14-11 on February 27 and March 11, respectively. The UCSD-CSUB winner will face the winner of Santa Clara-Sonoma State at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. This is the second consecutive year the Tritons have earned the No. 2 seed for the WWPA Championships. In 2010, UCSD rode the two-seed for wins over Sonoma State and Colorado State before falling to LMU, 13-10, in the title match. The winner of the WWPA Championships earns the automatic bid the National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship hosted by Michigan, May 13-15, 2010.
The UC San Diego women's water polo team fell to crosstown rival No. 9 San Diego State (20-12) in the annual Harper Cup, 15-7, on Friday afternoon at the Aztec Aquaplex. Freshman Sarah Lizotte recorded a hat trick in her sixth straight match, leading her team in scoring for the eighth time in a row. Leanne Ford and Ronni Gautshci gave the Aztecs a 2-0 lead less than three minutes in, but Felicia Orozco cut the SDSU lead in half with a power play goal just with 45 seconds to go in the opening period. Lizotte scored back-to-back goals to even the score at four-apiece; however, SDSU would score consecutive goals with less than 70 seconds remaining in the half to take a 6-4 lead into the break. Following the intermission, UCSD again took advantage of a power play, methodically moving the ball until Hanalei Crowell gently placed a shot over SDSU goalie Kelly Campoli. Orozco added her second of the game on a breakaway, beating Campoli to tie the game 6-6 with 5:19 remaining in the third. The Aztecs would pour-in four consecutive goals to close the third period and account for four of the five goals in the final stanza to take a 15-7 victory. The rivalry recognizes the influence of current UCSD Men's Coach Denny Harper on the development of both programs.
UCSD placed four players on the WWPA All-Conference Team for the second consecutive season, it was announced Wednesday morning. Hanalei Crowell earned WWPA First Team honors while Kirsten Bates earned WWPA Second Team accolades. Felicia Orozco was named WWPA All-Honorable Mention and Melissa Bartow was placed on the WWPA All-Freshman Team. The honors mark the first time to be elected to an all-conference squad for Orozco and Bartow, but is the second consecutive year that Bates has garnered a Second Team selection. Crowell also earned WWPA All-Freshman Team honors in 2008. Crowell currently leads the team in goals (48), assists (49), steals (58) and field blocks (15). Bates is second to Crowell in each of those categories and shares a team-high eight penalties drawn along with Bartow. Bartow and Bates rank one-two on the squad with 54 and 43 ejections drawn, respectively, helping the Tritons to a 35 percent success rate with a man-advantage. Orozco, a senior junior college transfer, has tallied 35 goals, 20 assists and 18 steals this season, scoring multiple goals in 11 contests.
The Tritons have been able to out-do the pace set by the Roadrunners in 2011, having taken down CSUB twice already this season. UCSD snapped a five-match losing skid with a 13-10 win over the Roadrunners in the teams' finale at the UC Irvine Invitational on February 27. Kirsten Bates scored three goals while dishing out two assists and adding five steals. Hanalei Crowell scored three goals and added a pair of assists while Jessica Tran logged two goals, three assists and four steals. Natalie Peng tallied six steals, a season-high. The Tritons followed their win a the UCI Invite with a 14-11 victory over the Roadrunners on March 11 in Canyonview Pool. This time, Felicia Orozco logged a hat-trick with two assists, while Crowell forced five changes of possession. Kirsten Bates scored four goals and added three steals. CSUB is coming off a successful weekend at the Roadrunner II Invitational in which the team defeated Santa Clara and Cal State East Bay while narrowly falling to Colorado State. CSUB took home third place at the 2010 WWPA Championships.
No. 1 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
LMU put together a perfect WWPA season and will be looking for its third consecutive WWPA title and fourth in the last five years. The Lions took down the Tritons in the 2010 WWPA Championship, 13-10, and defeated UCSD in the only contest between the teams this season, 13-7, on February 18.
No. 3 SANTA CLARA
SCU pushed the Tritons to the brink twice this season, narrowly falling to UCSD, 12-10, at the Triton Invitational on February 12. The Tritons then overtook the Broncos, 9-8 in double overtime on April 9 at The Bronco, solidifying UCSD's hold on the second seed for the WWPA Championships.
No. 4 COLORADO STATE
The Rams earned a pair of big conference wins last weekend to earn their highest seed in program history. They were led by the senior duo of Ali Pavlik and Orsi Nadasdy, who combined to score 16 of the teams 33 goals at the Roadrunner Invitational II last weekend.
No. 5 CAL STATE EAST BAY
CSUEB had the second-highest amount of overall wins behind LMU in 2011, but was able to only with WWPA matches at a .600 rate. UCSD took down East Bay at Canyonview on February 11, 8-6, before topping the Pioneers, 9-5, on March 26 in Hawaii.