INDIANAPOLIS - The No. 12 University of California San Diego women's water polo team's National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship opening-round opponent was revealed on Monday evening, as the Tritons will face No. 18 Wagner on Tuesday, May 8, at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center beginning at 7 p.m. PT.
It's the second straight year the two teams will meet in the opening round, with UC San Diego suffering a narrow defeat last season, 6-5 at home. The winner of the contest will face No. 1-seeded host USC (23-1) on Friday, May 11, at 12 p.m.
A lot has changed since last year's loss, however, as the Tritons now start three freshmen in Taylor Onstott (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Ciara Franke (San Diego/La Jolla HS) and Grace Pevehouse, while freshman goalkeeper Bennett Bugelli (La Jolla/La Jolla HS) leads the team in saves.
UC San Diego has won eight of its last nine games overall and is fresh off its sixth consecutive Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship tournament title, defeating Cal State East Bay in Sunday's final in La Jolla, 12-2.
Wagner College is located in Staten Island, N.Y. The Seahawks, like the Tritons, earned automatic entry into the NCAA Championship by virtue of winning their conference tournament on Sunday. They have won five consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) crowns.