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Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament - Day Three

Championship Match - #1 UC Irvine 11, Long Beach State 5

UC Irvine has repeated as the Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament champions after defeating Long Beach State, 11-5, in today's championship match.  The Anteaters were led by Tournament MVP Cortney Collyer's four goal effort in a game they never trailed.  The Anteaters will receive the conference automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament to be held in Michigan in two weeks.

Freshman Danielle Warde opened the game for UC Irvine with a goal from 8 meters out just 28 seconds into the contest.  Cortney Collyer added a pair of goals for the Anteaters and Coriann Snyder had the lone tally for Long Beach State as the Anteaters led after one, 3-1.

UC Irvine blew open the contest in the second quarter, scoring three goals in three minutes to extend its lead to 6-1.  Long Beach State scored on a penalty shot towards the end of the half, but UC Irvine still went into halftime with a 6-2 lead.

Senior Caitlin Haskell scored her second goal of the match just thirty seconds into the third quarter to push the Anteater lead back to five at 7-2.  The teams traded a pair of goals before Collyer scored her fourth goal of the contest to extend the Anteater lead to six at 10-4.

The game was physical throughout, but became more so in the fourth quarter as the teams traded power play opportunities.  Long Beach State's Melissa Matheson scored the 49ers lone goal of the quarter and UCI junior Katie Croghan added an insurance goal for the Anteaters to end the scoring.

The Anteaters have won all three Big West Tournament titles and were also undefeated during conference play in 2011.  Long Beach State had defeated UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge to reach the championship final for the first time.  The 49ers end their season with a 14-17 overall mark.


Third Place Match - UC Davis 9, Cal State Northridge 7

UC Davis came away with a victory in the third place game today, defeating Cal State Northridge, 9-7.  The Aggies rebounded from a first quarter deficit to take the lead in the second quarter and never surrendered the lead after the 2:30 mark of the quarter.

The Matadors opened the game by scoring three power play goals, two by Heidi Pettinger and one by Jessica Gofarth to take a 3-2 lead after one quarter of play.  UC Davis had goals from Ariel Feeney and Dakotah Mohr.

UC Davis came out firing in the second quarter, scoring two goals in the first two minutes to take the lead.  Leah Janke scored for Cal State Northridge to tie up the score, but two Carmen Eggert goals gave UC Davis a 6-4 lead.  Janke added another tally before the half, but UC Davis had a 6-5 lead.

UC Davis expanded their lead in the third frame on goals by Becca Smith, Carey Faber and Jessica Dunn with the only Cal State Northridge answer coming on a penalty shot by Heidi Pettinger.  After three periods the Aggies lead is 9-6.

Cal State Northridge struck for one goal in the fourth quarter, but failed on two power play opportunities to get any closer.

Fifth Place Match - Pacific 6, UC Santa Barbara 4

The fifth place match featuring UC Santa Barbara and Pacific kicked off the final day of the 2011 Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament with the Tigers coming out on top, 6-4.  It was a match that was led by Pacific the entire way.  Pacific's Bethany Quertemous opened the scoring at 4:09 to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  One minute later, the Tigers lead is extended t o 2-0 on a goal by freshman Elise Martin.  The Gauchos got on the board just 25 seconds later on a goal by Claire Buchanan.  Pacific answered the next time down the pool as Mandy King put the ball in the upper right corner to give Pacific a 3-1 lead.  Quertemous scored her second goal of the game midway through the second quarter and senior Siobhan Larsen added another to give the Tigiers a 5-1 halftime lead.

The Gauchos opened the third quarter with a goal by sophomore Katie Zakula.  The Tigers answered with a goal of their own by Mandy King, her second of the game.  But that was all of the scoring took place and the Tigers continued to hold their four goal lead at 6-2.  The Gauchos rallied for a pair of goals in the fourth quarter, one by Rachel Nelson and the other by Bryce Winton, but that was all the scoring that took place as the Tigers prevailed.
2011 Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament Schedule
 April 29 First Round
Tickets $10 G.A. / $5 Big West students/youth
  #4 Pacific vs. #5 UC Davis
8-4 UC Davis
  #6 Long Beach State at #3 UC Santa Barbara
4-3 Long Beach State
April 30
Tickets $10 G.A. / $5 Big West students/youth

  #1 UC Irvine vs. #5 UC Davis 15-9 UC Irvine
  #2 Cal State Northridge vs. #6 Long Beach State 7-6 (OT) Long Beach State
 May 1 Fifth Place Game - Pacific vs. UC Santa Barbara
Tickets $10 G.A. / $5 Big West students/youth
6-4 Pacific

Third Place Game - UC Davis vs. Cal State Northridge
Tickets $10 G.A. / $5 Big West students/youth
9-7 UC Davis

Championship Game - UC Irvine vs. Long Beach State
Tickets $10 G.A. / $5 Big West students/youth
11-5 UC Irvine

     All times subject to change  

Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament - Day Two

Match Four - #6 Long Beach State 7, #2 Cal State Northridge 6 (OT)

Long Beach State freshman Chelsea Parks scored 47 seconds into the first overtime period and the goal held up to beat Cal State Northridge, 7-6 in overtime, in the second semifinal of the 2011 Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament.  The 49ers advance to play UC Irvine in the championship game tomorrow at 2:30 pm.  Cal State Northridge will face UC Davis in the third place game.

In a tightly contested game, neither team led by more than one goal the entire game.  Long Beach State's Lauren Sieprath opened the scoring at the 1:36 of the first period.  Cal State Northridge answered one minute later on a goal by Sydney Sonoda.  Both teams traded goals in the second quarter as Julia Garyfallou scored for the 49ers and Whitney Delgado scored for the Matadors.

The third quarter saw a flurry of goals in a matter of two minutes which included Cal State Northridge taking its first lead of the game on Delgado's second goal.  Long Beach State retook the lead on goals by Garyfallou and Melissa Matheson.  The third quarter ended with Delgado scoring her third goal to tie the score at 5-5.

The score remained tied until 2:26 of the fourth quarter when the Matadors' Melissa Doll scored what looked like a possible game winner.  However, Long Beach State answered one minute later as Melissa Matheson tied the game on a penalty shot.

In the first overtime frame, Cal State Northridge had a chance to go ahead, but Heidi Pettinger's penalty shot sailed wide.  Parks goal came the next time down the pool for the 49ers in what proved to be the game winner.

Match Three - #1 UC Irvine 15, #5 UC Davis 9
UC Irvine has advanced to the Big West Women's Water Polo Championship game after defeating UC Davis, 15-9, this afternoon.  Freshman Danielle Warde and sophomore Jessy Cardey led the way for the Anteaters, scoring nine goals between them.  Warde's first of five goals opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest.  The Anteaters built a 5-1 lead, but UC Davis clawed its way back, closing the gap before the end of the first half on goals by sophomore Carmen Eggert and junior Alicia Began. 

The Anteaters struck quick in the second half, scoring two goals in the first two minutes to extend their lead back to three at 9-6.  After the Aggies' Began scored her second goal of the contest just forty seconds later to narrow the lead to 9-7, the Anteaters blew the game open.  UC Irvine received a pair of goals from senior Cortney Collyer and a tally from freshman Olivia Cummins to close the third period and extend the lead to 12-7. 

Warde opened the fourth quarter with her fourth goal of the contest, but UC Davis' Jessica Dunn and Carey Faber responded with goals to give the Aggies some hope at 13-9.  During the fifth minute of the quarter, Warde scored her fifth goal of the game and Cardey closed the scoring in the quarter with her fourth tally coming on a penalty shot to extend the lead to 15-9 for the Anteaters, which would be the final margin. 

UC Irvine will face the winner of the Cal State Northridge/Long Beach State match.  UC Davis will face the loser of the match.
Big West Tournament Home on UCSB Website

Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament - Day One

Match Two - Long Beach State 4, UC Santa Barbara 3
The second match of the day in the 2011 Big West Women’s Water Polo Tournament featured the third-seeded UC Santa Barbara Gauchos against the sixth-seeded Long Beach State 49ers.  Both teams had great goalkeeper play plus the assistance of a couple of goalposts to keep the scoring low.  It didn't appear that it was going to be a low scoring affair to start the match as Long Beach State's Lauren Sieprath struck for the 49ers just thirty seconds into the contest.  UC Santa Barbara's Claire Buchanan scored at the 3:41 mark of the quarter to even the score.  But that's all the scoring that took place in the first half.  UCSB's Ruth Milne and LBSU's Kristen Stragier stonewalled their opponents making some great saves throughout the half.  UC Santa Barbara wasn't able to capitalize on four power play chances in the first half, failing to get a shot off in three of the man advantages and hitting a post in the fourth.  At the half, it was tied 1-1.

Long Beach State broke the tie at the 5:37 mark of the third quarter on a goal by freshman Julie Garyfallou.  Her shot in the upper right corner of the cage came after Long Beach State hit the post for a second time in the period. UC Santa Barbara struck back three minutes later on a goal by senior Kathryn Nelson.  The quarter ended with the score tied at 2-2.

Just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, Long Beach State's Krizia Cerda scored to give the 49ers their third lead of the game at 3-2.  Cerda notched her second goal of the game on the Long Beach State power play to give the 49ers a two goal lead with five minutes remaining.  UC Santa Barbara wasn't able to battle back until the Gauchos were on a two-person advantage with just 25 seconds to play and narrowed the lead to one on Kathryn Nelson's second goal of the game.  It wasn't enough though as the 49ers held on for the win.

Long Beach State advances to the semifinals to face second-seeded Cal State Northridge.  UC Santa Barbara will face Pacific in the fifth place match on Sunday.
Match One - UC Davis 8, Pacific 4

The Big West Women’s Water Polo Tournament is underway as #4 Pacific took on #5 UC Davis in the opening match this afternoon at UCSB Campus Pool.  The Aggies upset the fourth seeded Tigers, winning 8-4 in a match that started strong for UC Davis.  The Aggies' Dakotah Mohr opened the first period by scoring three consecutive goals, a natural hat tick, to give UC Davis a 3-0 lead. Pacific got on the board after going on the power play and scoring on a shot by Bethany Quertemous to make it 3-1.  The Tigers missed on another power play opportunity at the end of the first quarter and the quarter ended with a UC Davis 3-1 lead.

Two minutes into the second period, Pacific narrowed the deficit to one on another goal by the Tiger senior, Quertemous.  The Aggies responded with two goals, one by junior Ariel Feeney coming just 30 seconds after the Pacific goal and another by sophomore Jessica Dunn with just 35 seconds remaining in the half to give UC Davis another three-goal lead and end the half at 5-2.

The Aggies' Dunn started the second half the same way she ended the first with a goal to stretch the UC Davis lead to four goals, 6-2.  Aggie junior Dakotah Mohr struck again, scoring her fourth goal of the game to give the Aggies a 7-2 lead.  Pacific was then awarded a penalty shot and the Tigers' Dara Tawarahara scored to bring the score to 7-3.  No more scoring took place over the final three minutes and after three periods, UC Davis led 7-3.

Senior Michelle Hook scored midway through the fourth quarter for the Aggies to bring their lead back to five, 8-3.  The two teams traded shots down the stretch with Pacific missing on a couple of power play opportunities but not being able to get too close.  Tawarahara scored with just over one minute to play, but it wasn't enough as UC Davis goalkeeper Riane Woods made some key saves to preserve the victory.

With the win, UC Davis advances to play top seeded UC Irvine tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm.  Pacific will face UC Santa Barbara in the fifth place match on Sunday.


UC Santa Barbara Hosts Third Annual Big West Tournament

The Big West Women’s Water Polo Tournament begins this weekend at UC Santa Barbara’s Campus Pool with top seed UC Irvine aiming to win its third tourney title in as many years.

The tournament champion will be granted an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship, which will be held May 13-15 at the Donald B. Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.  The Big West champion will join other automatic qualifiers from the Collegiate Water Polo Association, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and Western Water Polo Association among an eight-team field vying for the national title.  The Big West fulfilled a two-year waiting period before becoming eligible for an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
However, the focus is squarely on the conference tournament this week.  First round action begins on Friday, April 29 with No. 4 seed Pacific taking on No. 5 seed UC Davis at 3:30 p.m., followed by the third-seed and host Gauchos battling No. 6 seed Long Beach State at 5:15 p.m.

UC Irvine (19-8, 5-0), which became the first team in the Big West’s brief women’s water polo history to finish league play undefeated, received a bye into the semifinals.  The Anteaters see their first action of the tournament on Saturday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m against the winner of the Pacific-UC Davis match.  Second-seeded Cal State Northridge faces the winner of UC Santa Barbara-Long Beach State at 5:15 p.m. in the other semifinal.

Three matches are scheduled for Sunday, May 1 to contest fifth place, third place and first place.  Consolation bracket play begins at 11:00 a.m. with the fifth place match.  The third place contest follows at 12:45 p.m. while the championship match will begin at 2:30 p.m.

UC Irvine bids to win its third championship in the unfamiliar role as top seed.  The Anteaters won last year’s tournament as a No. 4 seed.  In 2009, UCI won three straight matches as a No. 3 seed.  The Anteaters, one win shy of 20 victories, have defeated nine of their last 10 opponents.  UCI defeated the highest ranked foe by any Big West school this season, dropping No. 6 Loyola Marymount 11-9 on March 31.

With all six Big West schools being represented in the Collegiate Water Polo Association top 20 poll, the road to the title will be a formidable test for UCI.  Teams pushed UCI during conference play, as the Anteaters registered three wins by a combined four goals.

Cal State Northridge (21-14, 3-2) owns the most wins of all Big West schools but also carries a three-match losing streak heading into the tournament.  UC Santa Barbara (16-11, 3-2) is 9-3 playing in its home pool this season.  The Gauchos are 1-1 against first round opponent LBSU, winning a tight 8-7 decision on April 16 and losing 5-2 to the 49ers at the Triton Invitational on Feb. 12.

Pacific (20-11, 2-3), which captured its second straight 20-win season, split two regular season meetings with UC Davis.  The Tigers squeezed past the Aggies, 6-5, on April 16 in a conference victory.  UCD had an easier time against Pacific on Mar. 3, taking a 10-3 win as part of the Aggie Shootout.