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Women's Water Polo

UC Irvine Earns No. 5 Seed In NCAA Championships

Files associated with this release:
2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket
11_WWP Release No. 14

Links associated with this release:
2011 NCAA Tournament Central


Big West champion UC Irvine received the fifth seed in the 2011 NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship, which will be held May 13-15 at the Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Mich.  The Anteaters play fourth-seeded USC on Friday, May 13 at 4:30 p.m. (PDT).

UCI gained the Big West Conference’s automatic bid to the eight-team tournament field.  It is the first season that the Big West has been eligible to receive an automatic berth.  The tournament is single-elimination with a loser’s bracket to determine third through eighth place.  Each team will play one match all three days.
The Anteaters (21-8, 5-0) rolled through the Big West Tournament as the top seed to defeat UC Davis and Long Beach State, capturing their third tournament championship in as many years.  UCI won as a No. 3 seed in 2009 and again in 2010 as a No. 4 seed.

The match schedule on the first day of competition in Ann Arbor begins with No. 2 seed California (24-4) against No. 7 UC San Diego (17-18) at noon.  No. 3 seed UCLA (24-6) battles No. 6 seed Indiana (25-11) at 1:30 p.m. and top-seeded Stanford (25-1) takes the pool against play-in winner and No. 8 seed Iona (26-7) at 3:00 p.m.  The Anteaters square off against the defending national champion Trojans (18-6) in the nightcap.

Anteaters Retain Big West Tournament Crown 
UC Irvine defeated UC Davis and Long Beach State to win the 2011 Big West Tournament championship and reaffirm the program’s dominance as the only tournament winner in conference history.  The Anteaters outscored both opponents by a combined 26-14 margin to emerge with the trophy at UC Santa Barbara’s Campus Pool.  Senior Cortney Collyer scored six goals to claim tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

In the brief three-year history of the Big West Tournament, UC Irvine has proved that seeding does not have any real bearing on the outcome.  The Anteaters have captured all three championships as a different seed each time.  They are 8-0 all-time in Big West Tournament contests.

Year    Champion    Seed     Runner-Up                 Seed     Score    MVP
2011    UC Irvine      No. 1      Long Beach State       No. 6     11-5      Cortney Collyer (UCI)
2010    UC Irvine      No. 4     Cal State Northridge    No. 2    12-11     Jessy Cardey (UCI)
2009    UC Irvine      No. 3     UC Santa Barbara       No. 4     13-9      Gianna Rossi (UCI)

UCI First Undefeated Program In Conference Play
The success of UCI’s program in this year’s conference tournament was no fluke considering the Anteaters laid the groundwork with an unblemished 5-0 regular season in league play.  It marked the first time in Big West history that a team went undefeated in conference.  In 2010, Pacific and Cal State Northridge tied for the regular season title with 4-1 records.  A three-way tie for first place occurred in 2009 when Cal State Northridge, UC Davis and UC Irvine all finished 4-1.

UCI Rises To No. 7 In National Poll
UC Irvine, winners of seven straight and 11 of its last 12 matches, crept up to No. 7 in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association poll.  The Anteaters secured 20 wins for the second time in three seasons, and their current 21-win total is second-most in school history behind only the 2009 squad which won 23 games.

Long Beach State climbed to No. 13 in the poll by virtue of reaching the Big West Tournament championship game.  UC Davis at No. 15, Cal State Northridge at No. 18 and Pacific at No. 19 round out the list of Big West representatives in the top 20.  UC Santa Barbara is receiving votes.