Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Junior Krista Schneider leads the Tritons into UC Irvine's Barbara Kalbus Invite this weekend.

Tritons Set for UC Irvine's Barbara Kalbus Invitational This Weekend


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National Rank: 15 (CWPA)
Overall: 7-7 
WWPA: 1-0
Home: 4-2 
Away: 0-1 
Neutral: 3-4

Barbara Kalbus Invitational
vs. No. 6 Arizona State (9-2, 0-0 MPSF)
Friday, Feb. 23 • 3 p.m.
Marian Bergeson Aquatic Center (Corona del Mar High School) • Newport Beach, Calif.

No. 15 UC San Diego takes on No. 6 Arizona State in the first round of UC Irvine's Barbara Kalbus Invitational on Friday, Feb. 23, beginning at 3 p.m. The Tritons will play two more games on Saturday and one final game on Sunday with times and matchups to be determined.

UC San Diego home matches will be streamed live at ($5.99) with Miles Himmel calling all of the action from Canyonview Aquatic Center.

The Tritons, currently ranked No. 15 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll, have a 7-7 record heading into the week with five victories over ranked opponents ... UC San Diego is led by senior Kayla Fedler, who has recorded a team-high 19 goals with three assists ... The Tritons are led in points by the freshmen duo of Taylor Onstott and Grace Pevehouse. Onstott has recorded 17 goals with 10 assists, while Pevehouse has amassed 15 goals and 10 assists ... Fellow freshman Ciara Franke has tallied a team-leading 20 steals to go along with eight goals and three assists ... UC San Diego also has a dynamic duo in the net, as sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher and freshman goalkeeper Bennett Bugelli have each started seven games apiece this season. Bugelli leads the Tritons with 58 saves, while Gallagher is right behind with 55 saves and has a 5-2 record in the net.

The Tritons are coming off a 19-15 season and their fifth-straight WWPA title in 2017. UC San Diego also hosted an opening-round National Collegiate Water Polo Championship game for the fourth year in a row.

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.

No. 6 Arizona State last competed at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 10-11, where the Sun Devils finished third overall out of 16 teams. ASU recorded wins over Cal State East Bay, No. 10 UC Davis and wrapped up third place with a victory against No. 7 UC Irvine, 8-7. The Sun Devils' only blemish in the two-day tournament came in a one-goal loss to No. 4 UCLA, 7-6. ASU has won five of its last six games overall with eight victories over ranked opponents. Senior Alkistis Benekou leads the Sun Devils with 22 goals  and eight games scoring multiple goals, including three hat tricks. Meanwhile, goalkeeper senior Mia Rycraw has already amassed 83 saves this season.

UC San Diego is 4-10 (.285) all-time against Arizona State, with the Tritons falling to the Sun Devils in their previous meeting this season, 12-5, at the ASU Cross Conference Challenge on Feb. 4, 2018.

UC San Diego freshman Taylor Onstott was named WWPA Player of the Week on Feb. 14. Onstott recorded eight goals, six assists and six steals in five games during the 2018 Triton Invitational, including a hat trick with three goals, two assists and two steals in a thrilling overtime victory over No. 12 Indiana. The freshman also recorded two goals, one assist and three steals in a WWPA win over Cal State East Bay. On the season, the Carlsbad native has scored 17 goals with 10 assists and 19 steals. 

Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his ninth season at the helm, and ranks second all-time in victories in UC San Diego women's water polo history with a record of 182-135 (.574). Kreutzkamp recently passed former head coach Larry Sanders' total of 180 wins amassed during his tenure from 2000-09. A four-time ACWPC Coach of the Year, Kreutzkamp has led the Tritons to five WWPA championships and five NCAA Championship appearances in his seven seasons. Last season, the Tritons captured their 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.

The UC San Diego women's water polo team was selected to capture the 2018 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches. It is the sixth-straight year and the seventh time in the last eight seasons UC San Diego has earned the top spot in the poll.

2018 WWPA Women's Preseason Coaches' Poll
1.  UC San Diego, 49 points (7 first-place votes)
2.  Cal State East Bay, 42 (1)
3.  Sonoma State, 37
4.  Fresno Pacific, 27
5.  Cal State Monterey Bay, 26
6.  Mercyhurst, 21
T-7.  Gannon, 11
T-7.  McKendree, 11

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 one year 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.

For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit 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.

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 Barbara Kalbus Invitational, the Tritons will compete in the Claremont Convergence Tournament hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The action begins with a matchup against Cal Baptist on March 2 beginning at 3 p.m.


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