Four Big West Squads Compete At Triton Invitational
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12_WWP Release No. 3
Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara head to the Triton Invitational this weekend to compete in a 16-team field that includes 11 teams ranked in the national top 20. The Anteaters placed the highest among Big West squads last year with a fifth place showing.
Triton Invitational This Week’s Focus In Women’s Water Polo
The annual Triton Invitational is the headlining event for this week’s women’s water polo schedule. Four Big West schools – Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara – are slated to compete in the 16-team tournament which runs Saturday and Sunday at Canyonview Aquatic Center on the UC San Diego campus.
Eleven of the top 20 teams in the Collegiate Water Polo poll represent the majority of the tournament field. No. 5 Arizona State, No. 9 Indiana and San Diego State, No. 12 Loyola Marymount, No. 15 Hartwick, No. 17 Maryland and host No. 18 UC San Diego join the four ranked Big West teams to comprise a talented group. Four groups of four teams each compete in day one action. Pool play continues on Sunday morning while the afternoon matches determine final placing.
UC Irvine opens the tournament against Marist with Long Beach State following shortly thereafter against Maryland. Other matches include UC Santa Barbara against the host Tritons and Cal State Northridge versus Hartwick. The Anteaters finished in fifth place at the 2011 Triton Invitational for the best showing by a Big West team.
The only other action this week features Pacific making a non-conference road trip to Fresno Pacific. UC Davis, which has faced seven teams in the CWPA top 5 through 10 matches played, is idle until Feb. 19 at Sonoma State.
UC Irvine Moves Up To No. 6 In CWPA Poll
UC Irvine achieved a No. 6 ranking in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 20 poll, moving up one spot after victories over Hartwick and Cal Baptist last week improved its record to 5-1. It is the highest ranking by a Big West school since women’s water polo became a conference sport in 2009. UCI was ranked No. 6 in the CWPA preseason poll as well.
Four other squads find themselves ranked in the Top 20 poll. UC Davis is on a seven-match losing streak, but six of those losses have come to top five opponents. And four of those defeats have been by two goals or less. The Aggies are ranked No. 13 this week.
Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge are positioned at No. 14, No. 16 and No. 19, respectively. Pacific is receiving votes in the poll for the third straight week.
Big West In NCAA Championship
The Big West received an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship for the first time in league history in 2011. Once again, the Big West Tournament champion will earn one of nine slots for the 2012 NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship, which will be played May 11-13 at the Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego, Calif. Host San Diego State will become an official member of the Big West in 2013.