LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The No. 18 UC San Diego women's water polo team fell to No. 16 UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Bakersfield, 9-5 and 12-11 respectively, on the opening day of the Triton Invitational at Canyonview Aquatic Center.
UCSD (4-3) will face Santa Clara (3-11) at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning with the winner advancing to play in the 13th-place game at 2:40 p.m.
Sarah Lizotte and Rachel Brooks scored early in the opening game for UCSD as the Tritons took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter. However, the Gauchos held the Tritons scoreless in the second frame to take a 4-2 lead into the half.
Katherine Biehle scored to bring the Tritons within one less than 30 seconds into the third, but UCSB responded with a pair of goals to go back up by three. Lizotte scored on consecutive trips down the pool at the 3:25 mark, making it 6-5 in favor of UCSB.
Once again, the Gauchos held the Tritons scoreless in the final quarter while scoring three goals of their own to take the 9-5 win.
Cal State Bakersfield (3-5) matched UCSD with a pair of goals in the opening quarter, but Jessica Tran scored with seven seconds left in the first to hand the Tritons a 3-2 lead.
Jessica Browning gave CSUB its first lead of the game at 4-3 35 seconds into the second quarter. Tran, Lizotte and Leah Gonzales all scored as the Tritons took back the lead at 6-5 at the 1:18 mark, but the Roadrunners rallied for a pair of goals in the final 12 seconds of the half to take a 7-6 lead.
Tied at 8-8 in the final quarter, Natalie Peng and Lizotte each traded scores with CSUB to keep the game even. However, Janelle Shelby and Taylor Hanson scored back-to-back goals to give the Roadrunners a 12-10 lead with 1:57 remaining. Biehle scored with a man-advantage to bring the Tritons back within one, but UCSD ran out of time on the way to its first loss to a fellow WWPA team in 2012.