Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
UC San Diego hosts the 2019 Triton Invitational this weekend at Canyonview Aquatic Center.

No. 20 UC San Diego Hosts Impressive Field for 2019 Triton Invitational

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. — It’s that time again!

The No. 20 University of California San Diego women’s water polo team is set to host the 2019 Triton Invitational at Canyonview Aquatic Center this weekend on Feb. 9-10. The tournament's first contest begins Saturday morning at 8 a.m., with the final game of the weekend for first place set for Sunday evening at 5:50 p.m.

The event features 16 teams, with 13 currently ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Top 25. Highlighting the field is defending national champion and No. 1-ranked USC. You can view the full schedule here.

“It’s really exciting to get a lot of top-level programs here at this pool,” said Tritons senior Maddy Wieseler. “With all the work we’ve done in the preseason and the beginning of winter, it usually comes together around this time. 

“(The Triton Invite) gives us a great opportunity to learn from our mistakes and get better playing against high-level competition.”

In addition to No. 20 UC San Diego and No. 1 USC, the following teams will also be in action this weekend: No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Arizona State, No. 11 UC Davis, No. 13 Loyola Marymount, No. 16 Long Beach State, No. 21 CSUN, No. 22 San Diego State, No. 25 Marist, No. RV Cal State East Bay, Pomona-Pitzer and Santa Clara.

UC San Diego (1-4) begins tournament play against UC Santa Barbara (7-1) at Triton pool on Saturday, Feb. 9, beginning at 12 p.m. 

The Tritons began the season at the UCSB Winter Invite on Jan. 19-20, and are coming off a hard-fought contest against No. 5 Hawai’i on Feb. 3. Despite the 10-7 loss to the Rainbow Wahine, UC San Diego took a big step forward.

“We had a slow start (this season) figuring out our chemistry, but we had two solid weeks of training to fix our defensive mistakes,” said Wieseler, a native of Highland, Calif. “Our effort against Hawai’i showed how much we’ve been working on our defense and cohesiveness. 

“I though we put up a really impressive performance against a top-five team.”

In addition to UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego will be in pool C this weekend with UC Irvine and Cal State East Bay. Saturday evening’s matchup will depend on Saturday morning's outcomes.

A strong performance in front of the home crowd this weekend could help the Tritons move up considerably in the top-25 poll.

“In order to be successful, we need to be on the same page defensively,” said Weiseler, a psychology major at Sixth College. “A lot of that came together in the Hawai’i game, and if we’re on top of our 6-on-5 and attack our advantages, I think we have good odds to do well this weekend and move up in the national rankings.”

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UC SAN DIEGO VITALS
National Rank: 20  (CWPA)
Overall: 1-4
WWPA: 0-0
Home: 0-1
Away: 0-0
Neutral: 1-3

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THE SCHEDULE
2019 TRITON INVITATIONAL
Game 6
vs. No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (9-1, 0-0 Big West)
Saturday, Feb. 9 • 12 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
Live Stats

Game 7
vs. No. 6 UC Irvine / No. RV Cal State East Bay
Saturday, Feb. 3 • TBD 
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla

Game 8
vs. TBD
Sunday, Feb. 4 • TBD 
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla

Game 9
vs. TBD
Sunday, Feb. 4 • TBD 
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla

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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 in the spring of 2020. 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.

UCSD

TRITON NOTES

  • The Tritons are ranked No. 20 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Preseason Top 25.
  • UC San Diego has won six-consecutive Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) championships en route to six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • The Tritons have won eight of their last nine home games at Canyonview Aquatic Center, including postseason play.
  • UC San Diego has gone 23-25 in Triton Invitational contests since 2006.
  • The Tritons have already faced two teams this season ranked in the top-five of the CWPA Top 25 (No. 1 USC and No. 5 Hawai'i), and two other opponents ranked in the top 25 (No. 13 Indiana and No. 14 Wagner).
  • UC San Diego earned a 13-5 neutral-site victory over Azusa Pacific at the UCSB Winter Invite on Jan. 19.
  • Sophomore Taylor Onstott leads the Tritons in total points with 10 on seven goals and three assists, as well as a team-best seven steals.
  • Sophomore Ciara Franke has recorded a team-high eight goals and has nine total points.
  • Senior Shelby Stender has a team-best four assists, and is tied for second with nine total points.
  • Sophomore goalkeeper Bennett Bugelli has tallied 23 saves in three starts in the net.

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WWPA Standings
1. Cal State East Bay: 0-0, 2-0 
2. UC San Diego: 0-0, 1-4
3.  Cal State Monterey Bay: 0-0, 1-4
4.  Gannon: 0-0, 0-0 
5.  McKendree: 0-0, 0-0
6.  Mercyhurst: 0-0, 0-0 
7.  Salem: 0-0, 0-0
8.  Sonoma State: 0-0, 0-3
9.  Fresno Pacific: 0-0, 0-4

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UC SAN DIEGO NATIONAL RANKINGS
For full rankings click here.
• Preseason: 15
• Week 1: 21
• Week 2: 21
• Week 3: 20

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MEET THE 2019 TRITONS
The Tritons return five starters and 17 players total from last season’s squad, including All-WWPA First-Team selections senior Chanel Schilling, senior Krista Schneider and junior goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher. Sophomore Grace Pevehouse earned All-WWPA Honorable Mention in 2018, while Taylor Onstott was named WWPA Newcomer of the Year and joined Ciara Franke on the WWPA All-Freshman Team. In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Bennett Bugelli was named WWPA Championship MVP.

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ABOUT UC SANTA BARBARA
Roster | Schedule | Statistics 
• Overall: 9-1
• Big West: 0-0 
• Home: 4-1
• Away: 1-0 
• Neutral: 4-0 
• Highest National Ranking: 7

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2019 WWPA Preseason Coaches Poll (first-place votes)
1. UC San Diego - 64 points, (8)
2. Cal State East Bay - 57 points, (1)
3. Sonoma State - 44 points
4. Fresno Pacific - 42 points
5. Cal State Monterey Bay - 40 points
6. Mercyhurst - 28 points
7. McKendree - 21 points
8. Gannon - 15 points
9. Salem - 13 points

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2018 YEAR IN REVIEW
UC San Diego is coming off a 24-12 campaign in 2018 and a berth in the NCAA Opening Round. The Tritons defeated 11 ranked opponents and won their sixth-consecutive WWPA Championship en route to a sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Five Tritons received ACWPC All-America accolades last season, including first-team selections Kayla Fedler and Chanel Schilling, second-team choices Krista Schneider and Reilly Gallagher, and honorable mention Taylor Onstott. Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp was named WWPA Coach of the Year for the fourth time in nine seasons at the helm, as he also moved up into second place all-time in coaching victories for the program. 

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HEAD COACH BRAD KREUTZKAMP 
Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is in his 10th season at the helm, and ranks second all-time in victories in UC San Diego women's water polo history with a record of 200-140 (.588). Last season, Kreutzkamp 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 and four-time WWPA Coach of the Year, Kreutzkamp has led the Tritons to seven WWPA championships and seven NCAA Championship appearances in nine seasons. Last season, the Tritons captured their sixth-straight WWPA title and seventh overall under Kreutzkamp's leadership. A former head coach of both the boy's and girl's varsity programs at Grossmont High School from 1996-99, 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. You can read Kreutzkamp's complete bio here.

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GEAR UP
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!

SOCIAL MEDIA (#BigWestBound)
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Coach Kreutzkamp on Twitter (@UCSDcoachK)
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About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

Follow The Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@ucsdtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (ucsdtritons). In addition, you can follow UC San Diego women's water polo on Twitter (@ucsdwwp) and on Instagram (@ucsdwwp).

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