Conference Play Enters The Pool This Weekend
Big West Women's Water Polo Release No. 8
Conference play begins this weekend for four women's water clubs as the sprint to the Big West Tournament begins. UC Irvine heads to UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis hosts league-leading UC Davis in a top-four weekend to kick off league action.
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.
• March 28, 2009 is an important day in Big West women’s water polo as that date marked the first conference contests in league history. On that day CSUN topped Pacific 12-3 and UC Davis beat UC Santa Barbara 12-7.
• In the 10-year history of the Big West, five teams have emerged unscathed from conference play. UC Irvine has done it the most times with four undefeated records (2011, 12, 14, 17) while Hawai’i owns the other unblemished mark in the 2018 season.
You Again (For Real This Time)
Two teams playing their conference opener can be forgiven for a bit of déjà vu. UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara will hit the pool against one another for the third time in a month. The first matchup came at the Triton Invitational with the Anteaters winning 11-7. Matchup #2 came a couple weeks later at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational, finishing in an 11-9 UCI win. This third matchup takes the series to Santa Barbara where the homestanding Gauchos are 4-1 this season.
UC Davis enters conference play against Hawai’i on a high note, having won six straight games with all of them coming on the road. The Aggies have been a tough defensive outfit in their recent win streak, having allowed double digit goals just once and 7.2 goals overall. UCD will need its defensive prowess as it faces a Rainbow Wahine squad that averages 13.54 goals per game, a pace that would shatter the single season Big West record of 11.46 that UH set last season.
Long Beach State are pros at packing for road trips as the club will have played 19 straight road games before its first home match. The Beach will play for the first time in front of their home fans on March 14, kicking off a stretch in which seven of their next eight matches are at home. LBSU also has the benefit of hosting the Big West Tournament this season as the derby returns to the Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center for the first time since 2014.
Quick Check of the Rankings
The Big West still has four teams ranked in the top 11 of the Collegiate 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 17th and CSUN 20th to wrap up the league’s clubs on the top 25 ledger.