No. 16 UC San Diego Begins 2018 Season at UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational
UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank: 16 (CWPA)
BIG (WEST) NEWS FOR UC SAN DIEGO ATHLETICS
On Nov. 27, UC San Diego was officially invited to become a member of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The Tritons will begin a four-year reclassification period starting in the fall of 2020 and will play a full Big West schedule. However, UC San Diego women's water polo joins the Big West Conference early in the fall of 2019. For the 2024-25 academic year, all sports will be eligible to compete in Big West and NCAA Division I championships. Read the full press release here.
GET TO KNOW THE 2018 TRITONS
The UC San Diego women's water polo team begins its 2018 season this weekend at the UCSB Winter Invitational. The Tritons, ranked No. 16 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll, are coming off a 19-15 season and their fifth-straight Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title. UC San Diego also hosted an opening-round National Collegiate Water Polo Championship game for the fourth year in a row.
WHO'S BACK, WHO'S NOT
The 2018 Triton roster boasts 15 returners, including four All-WWPA honorees in sophomore utility Jessee Ransone, sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher, junior center Chanel Schilling and junior attack Krista Schneider. Ransone, selected to the WWPA All-Freshman team, tied a team-high with 29 assists as a true freshman, along with 12 goals and 33 steals. Gallagher, an All-WWPA second-team selection, started all 34 games in the net with 205 saves, 12 steals and 22 assists. Schilling, an ACWPC All-America and All-WWPA second-team selection, recorded 36 goals, 17 assists and 18 steals while leading the Tritons with 14 penalties drawn and 71 ejections drawn. Schneider, an All-WWPA honorable mention, led UC San Diego with 46 assists to go with 23 goals and 51 steals.
The Tritons have big shoes to fill after losing six seniors to graduation, including 2017 WWPA Player of the Year Lauren Boyer and first-team WWPA selection Alexis Wieseler. UC San Diego also lost Hanna Schneider, Connie Wu and Rachel Emami and WWPA honorable mention Lani Tittle, each of which left the program with four WWPA titles and four NCAA Championship appearances.
HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP
UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp enters his ninth season at the helm. The four-time ACWPC Coach of the Year has led the Tritons to five WWPA championships and five NCAA Championship appearances in his seven seasons. The Tritons are 176-128 (.579) overall during his tenure. Last season, Kreutzkamp's team captured its fifth straight WWPA title and sixth overall under Kreutzkamp's leadership, lifting UC San Diego to its sixth NCAA appearance. Kreutzkamp came to UC San Diego 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 boy's and girl's varsity programs at Grossmont High School from 1996-99.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
Azusa Pacific finished 14-15 overall last season, including a 3-4 mark in Golden Coast Conference play. The Cougars' fourth-place finish in the GCC standings was their best in program history. Azusa Pacific is led by junior Mar Pastor Alvarez, who earned ACWPC All-America honors.
UC San Diego is 3-0 all-time against Azusa Pacific, with the Tritons defeating the Cougars, 15-7, in their last matchup at the UCSB Winter Invitational on Jan. 23, 2016.
ABOUT THE HOOSIERS
Indiana is currently ranked No. 13 in the CWPA poll after finishing the 2017 season with a 21-10 overall record, including a 5-3 mark in CWPA play. Senior Kelly Matthews and sophomore Mollie Williams each earned All-America honors following the 2017 season. In fact, Matthews is the just the second player in program history to earn three All-American honors. The duo also were also All-CWPA selections.
UC San Diego is 10-9 all-time against Indiana. The Tritons fell short against the Hoosiers in the last meeting between the two teams, 6-3, at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational on March 12, 2017.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES
Michigan is ranked No. 8 in the CWPA poll after finishing the 2017 season 28-9 overall, including a perfect 8-0 mark in the CWPA, en route to winning its seventh conference title in program history. The Wolverines lost to No. 3 USC, 12-6, in the NCAA quarterfinal. Sophomore Maddy Steere earned All-America honorable mention in her first season on campus, finishing with 51 goals and 49 assists. In the process, Steere became only the second freshman in Michigan history to record 100 points in a season.
The Tritons are 11-11 all-time against the Wolverines. In the last meeting, UC San Diego defeated Michigan, 11-6, at the UC Irvine Invitational on Feb. 22, 2015. It was the Tritons' second of two wins over the Wolverines that season.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
UCLA enters this weekend's tournament ranked No. 3 in the CWPA poll with a 1-0 record this season after defeating Loyola Marymount, 11-2, in its season opener on Jan. 13. The Bruins finshed the 2017 season with a 24-2 overall record and won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) title before losing to conference rival Stanford in the NCAA championship game, 8-7. UCLA is led by returning first-team All-American sophomore Maddy Musselman, who set the program's freshman record with 69 goals.
The Tritons are 5-28 all-time against the Bruins. UC San Diego dropped its last meeting against UCLA, 19-3, at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational in Irvine on Feb. 24, 2017.
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UC San Diego Athletics' online partner, Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UC San Diego home athletic events, and much more!
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Following this weekend's UCSB Winter Invitational, the Tritons will compete in the ASU Tournament in Tempe, Ariz., beginning on Feb. 3.