League Unbeatens Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara To Tangle
Files associated with this release:
11_WWP Release No. 10
Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara began Big West women's water polo play 2-0 last week, and one of them will improve to 3-0 after they face each other in Northridge on Saturday.
Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara Sprint Out To 2-0 Start
Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara had auspicious starts in conference play as both schools posted 2-0 records last week. The Matadors and Gauchos toppled UC Davis and Pacific to stake a share of first place after one weekend of Big West action.
One of those two schools will fall from the ranks of the undefeated on Saturday when UCSB meets CSUN at Matador Pool. The winner moves to 3-0 and has the inside track on attaining the No. 1 seed for the Big West Tournament April 29-May 1 in Santa Barbara. The Matadors began the 2010 ledger 4-0 before having their undefeated aspirations sunk by Pacific in the conference finale.
Northern California Trek On Tap For Long Beach State, UC Irvine
Joining the Big West fray this week are Long Beach State and UC Irvine. The two schools stuck to non-conference competition last week, with the Anteaters claiming a win over No. 6 Loyola Marymount. It marked the highest ranked school that a Big West team had defeated this season.
The 49ers and Anteaters sojourn to Pacific and UC Davis this week. Both the Tigers and Aggies are in need of victories after going 0-2 last week in conference play. LBSU and UCI close out the regular season with five successive matches against Big West opponents.
Momentum In Play
A majority of schools are carrying some momentum going into the stretch run of the 2011 season. UC Santa Barbara is riding a season-high seven-match winning streak while Cal State Northridge has won five straight. A look at each Big West school reveals the following:
• Cal State Northridge has won five straight and 10 of its last 13 contests since Mar. 5.
• Long Beach State is 7-3 in its last 10 games since Mar. 11.
• UC Davis has lost three straight but had won 13 of 14 games prior to the slide.
• UC Irvine has captured wins in six of its eight previous matches with the only losses coming to No. 3 USC and No. 1 Stanford.
• UC Santa Barbara has won seven straight and nine of its last 10 since Mar. 4.
• Pacific has been victorious in seven of its last 10 games. The Tigers hope to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season when they host Long Beach State on Saturday.
For the eighth straight week, all six Big West schools are represented in the Collegiate Water Polo Association top 20 rankings. UC Irvine moved up three spots to attain the highest ranking of any Big West school at No. 10. Long Beach State fell three spots to No. 13 after dropping a hard fought match to Hartwick College last week.
UC Santa Barbara inexplicably fell one spot to No. 15 after extending its win streak to seven straight. Cal State Northridge rose one spot to No. 16, while UC Davis and Pacific round out the list of ranked Big West teams at No. 17 and No. 19, respectively.
Big West Owns Automatic Qualification To NCAA Championship
The Big West fulfilled a two-year waiting period to earn automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship, meaning the winner of this year’s conference tournament will receive one of eight slots in the national tournament. The third annual Big West Tournament is set for April 29-May 1 in Santa Barbara.