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Women's Water Polo

UC Davis and UC Irvine Meet For First Place Bragging Rights

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12_WWP Release No. 11


UC Davis travels to UC Irvine in a battle of two conference unbeatens in women's water polo on Saturday.  The Anteaters have not lost a regular season Big West match since 2010.


UC Irvine Hosts UC Davis In Clash Of Top Two Teams
A crucial Big West match between two teams sporting extensive winning streaks – UC Davis and UC Irvine – takes place this Saturday at Anteater Aquatics Complex.  The winner could very well end up being the regular season champion and conference tournament No. 1 seed.

UC Irvine is riding a seven-match winning streak after beginning Big West play last week with a pair of road wins.  The Anteaters held on to defeat a tough Cal State Northridge squad, 11-10, and finalized the trip with an 8-4 triumph against UC Santa Barbara.  UCI now has won 10 straight regular season Big West matches dating back to the 2010 season.  The Anteaters last lost a conference match on Apr. 3, 2010 at UC Santa Barbara.

The Anteaters, who have been ranked No. 6 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll for four straight weeks, look to secure their 20th win for the third time in the last four seasons.  UCI posted 23-9 records in both 2009 and 2011.  The ‘Eaters are 19-5 overall, have won 10 of their last 12 contests, and their only two losses during that stretch came at the hands of No. 4 California and No. 2 Stanford.  UCI has fared well against top 20 clubs this season, owning a 12-5 mark against the premier competition.

It promises to be an exciting match as UC Davis enters on a season-high eight-match winning streak.  The recent surge in success propelled the Aggies into the national top 10 for the first time this season.  UCD is No. 10 in the CWPA poll and has not lost since Feb. 26 to then-No. 6 Hawai’i.  The Aggies are 13-11 overall and have rallied impressively after a frustrating 2-8 start.  However, seven of those eight losses in that brutal season-opening stretch were all to top five teams.

UCI has controlled the all-time series against UCD with wins in the last 12 meetings.  The Anteaters host Pacific on Sunday and have knocked off the Tigers in 13 straight matchups.  UCD visits Long Beach State on Sunday to complete its weekend roadtrip.

Pair Of 1-1 Teams Look To Stay In Title Contention
With only a five-match conference schedule, it’s best to lose no more than once in Big West play.  At least that’s what the brief three-year history of Big West women’s water polo has illustrated.  Regular season champions in 2009, 2010 and 2011 have finished no worse than 4-1.  So it would be a bit of an understatement to say that Saturday’s tilt between No. 17 Cal State Northridge and No. 15 UC Santa Barbara is huge.  Both teams split their season-opening weekend in Big West play with losses to UC Irvine and wins against Long Beach State.  UCSB is 16-12 overall and seeking its first 20-win season as a Big West member under first year head coach Cathy Neushul.  CSUN is 15-15 overall and needs a late surge to post its fourth straight 20-win season.

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.