Water Polo Schedule Features Bi-Coastal Tournament Play
Big West Women's Water Polo Weekly Release No. 7
The first weekend of March features tournaments on both coasts and inbetween as the countdown to league play continues. Tournaments will take clubs from California to Massachusetts in a busy weekend that features five of the league's six clubs.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Big West Celebrates 50/35
The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s. All season long, the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all conference sports. Join us as we pay homage to the student-athletes, coaches, staffs, communities and fans who have helped pave the way.
• The first year the Big West entered the NCAA Tournament in 2011, UC Irvine earned fifth place. The fifth-seeded Anteaters dropped their opening game to USC then posted two impressive wins over Iona and Indiana. UCI placed two players on the All-Tournament team in Cortney Collyer and Jessy Cardey.
• The Big West Coach of the Year award has been given 10 times so far and two coaches have accounted for nine of them. UC Irvine’s Dan Klatt has won seven honors while Hawai’i’s Maureen Cole has nabbed the award twice. The only other recipient of the Coach of the Year award over the first 10 seasons is Serela Kay of UC Santa Barbara, an honor she claimed in 2016.
Assault on the Record Book
Coming into 2019 there were six players all-time who have recorded 200+ goals in their career. Two current players were looking to join that illustrious company. Hawai’i’s Irene Gonzalez, the league’s leading goal scorer with 39 tallies, reached the club last weekend to bring her career number to 205, the sixth-most in Big West history. UC Irvine’s Mary Brooks is tied for sixth in the league with 29 goals, upping her career total to 186. That figure is tied for 10th all-time in Big West lore.
Hustling All Over the Pool
UC Santa Barbara’s Mollie Simmons has had a solid offensive season with 12 goals and 10 assists but other facets of her game have stood out. Simmons has recorded 23 steals and has won 91.9% of her sprints, ranking fourth and second in the league respectively. Simmons’ sprints have been especially impressive in that she has more sprint wins (57) than the top six of the sprint win percentage leaders combined.
CSUN’s Emma Pfister has been a literal wall in goal for the Matadors. She leads the Big West in saves (124) and has saved 46.4% of the shots fired at her. With Pfister in goal CSUN has allowed just 52 goals in the second half of matches this season, an average of 3.25 per contest.
Quick Check of the Rankings
Following the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, the Big West still has four teams ranked in the top 11 of the Colleggiate Water Polo Association poll. Hawai’i continues to lead the way in the #5 position while UC Irvine (8) and UC Santa Barbara (10) remain in the top 10. UC Davis is ranked 11th, Long Beach State tied for 15th and CSUN 23rd to wrap up the league’s clubs on the top 25 ledger.