No. 9 UCSB to Face No. 3 Stanford in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament
The newly crowned Big West Champion UCSB women's water polo team will open the NCAA Tournament with No. 3 Stanford, it was announced during the Selection Show on Monday evening.
The No. 9 Gauchos will take on the Cardinal at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center on Friday, May 13 at 1:45 p.m. The entire tournament will be played at UCLA. UCSB is fresh off a historic run through the Big West Tournament when it beat the two-highest ranked teams in the league to capture its first ever conference crown. The Gauchos opened the tournament with an 8-4 win over No. 24 CSUN and went on to stun No. 7 UC Irvine with a 7-6 sudden death overtime thrillerbefore downing No. 8 Hawai'i 11-5 in the championship game.
Samantha Murphy was named the tournament's MVP after scoring a hat trick in each of the three games.
Under the tutelage of second year head coach Serela Kay, UCSB will be entering the NCAA Tournament with an 18-12 record, while Stanford carries a 21-5 mark, as the team finished the MPSF Tournament as runner-up to USC, the nation's top-ranked team.
The Gauchos and the Cardinal previously faced each other in March when Stanford took a 16-5 decision at Campus Pool.
The winner of the first round game will advance to the semifinals where they will either play No. 2 UCLA or the winner of the No. 12 UC San Diego/ No. 1 Whittier (Div. III) play-in game.
Courtesy of UC Santa Barbara Athletics