No. 12 Tritons Play Host to No. 21 San Diego State in Harper Cup on Friday Night
UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank: 12 (CWPA)
THE WEEK AHEAD
After suffering a road loss against No. 9-ranked UC Irvine last weekend, the 12th-ranked Tritons are set to host the 17th annual Harper Cup against cross-town foe No. 21 San Diego State on Friday, April 20, beginning at 6 p.m. at Canyonview Aquatic Center. The first 500 UC San Diego students to attend will receive free sunglasses.
17TH ANNUAL HARPER CUP
The Harper Cup is named in honor of UC San Diego men’s water polo coach Denny Harper, who played at San Diego State and received his undergraduate degree from the school in 1978. He established the SDSU women’s water polo club team and went on to coach the UC San Diego women’s team to five collegiate national championships from 1985-99. The inaugural Harper Cup game between the crosstown foes came in 2002. SDSU won the first 12 matchups, but UC San Diego has won three of the last four Harper Cup meetings. The Tritons took home the cup for the first time in 2014 with an 8-5 decision in La Jolla. In 2016, UC San Diego won the Harper Cup for just the second time in dramatic fashion at Canyonview Aquatic Center, as Lauren Boyer drilled a back-handed shot into the cage for the game-winning goal in the second sudden-death overtime. Last season, Boyer earned Harper Cup MVP honors after finishing with a game-high five goals in UC San Diego's 10-6 road victory over the Aztecs.
WATCH HOME GAMES LIVE AT UCSDTRITONS.TV
UC San Diego home matches will be streamed live at UCSDtritons.tv ($5.99) with Seth Smith calling all of the action from Canyonview Aquatic Center.
1. Mercyhurst: 4-0, 13-5
2. UC San Diego: 4-0, 20-11
3. Cal State East Bay: 6-1, 16-8
4. Fresno Pacific: 3-3, 9-16
5. Gannon: 2-2, 7-9
6. Sonoma State: 2-4, 6-17
7. McKendree: 0-4, 8-14
8. Cal State Monterey Bay: 0-7, 4-19
The Tritons, currently ranked No. 12 in the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) poll, have a 20-11 overall record heading into the weekend with a perfect 4-0 mark in Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) play ... The Tritons have earned 10 victories over ranked opponents this season ... UC San Diego has won 11 of its last 13 games overall ... The Tritons are led by senior Kayla Fedler, who has a team-high 54 points on 42 goals with 12 assists ... Sophomore Krista Schneider ranks second on the team with 53 points on 14 goals and a team-best 39 assists, while freshmen standouts Grace Pevehouse and Taylor Onstott have each recorded 36 goals apiece ... Junior Chanel Schilling leads the team with 34 exclusions drawn freshman Ciara Franke has a team-high 56 steals and sophomore goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher has racked up 124 saves.
CIARA FRANKE NAMED WWPA PLAYER OF THE WEEK ON APRIL 4
UC San Diego freshman Ciara Franke earned Western Water Polo Association Player of the Week honors on April 4. It's the first-career honor for Franke, who joins previous award winners freshmen Taylor Onstott (Feb. 14) and Grace Pevehouse (March 14). Franke recorded six goals with four stals in two UC San Diego road victories on March 30-31, including the game-winning goal against Fresno State on March 31. This season, Franke has tallied a team-high 56 steals along with 32 points on 25 goals and seven assists.
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
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.
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.
ABOUT THE AZTECS
No. 21-ranked San Diego State has won three of its last four matches heading into Friday night's showdown, including a close victory over Santa Clara, 6-5, on April 14. Junior Hannah Carillo scored a game-high three goals for the Aztecs, while junior goalkeeper Maura Cantoni racked up 11 saves. San Diego State overcame a 3-2 halftime deficit by scoring three goals in the third quarter en route to the victory. Carillo leads the Aztecs this season with 55 total points on 40 goals with 15 assists, while freshman Emily Bennett has tallied 54 points on 41 goals and 13 assists.
UC San Diego is 18-33 (.353) all-time against San Diego State and 3-13 in Harper Cup meetings. However, the Tritons have won three of the last four Harper Cups and four of the last six meetings overall. The Tritons won last season's Harper Cup matchup for the second-straight year against the Aztecs on the road, 10-6.
HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP CLIMBS ALL-TIME WINS LIST
Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his ninth season at the
TRITONS PICKED FIRST IN WWPA COACHES’ POLL
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
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 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.
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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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Friday night's game concludes the regular season for UC San Diego, but the Tritons will host the 2018 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship Tournament at Canyonview Aquatic Center April 27-29.