No. 6 UC Irvine Will Face No. 5 California in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament
5/1/2017 7:00:00 PM
The UC Irvine women's water polo team earned the No. 4 seed at the 2017 National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship May 12-14 at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis.
The Anteaters will face California Friday, May 12 at 10:45 a.m. PT. The game will be streamed live on ncaa.com.
This is the fifth NCAA appearance (2015, 2014, 2012, 2011) for UCI with the 2012 team recording the Anteaters' highest finish of fourth.
UC Irvine, who is ranked sixth nationally, is 23-6 overall, winning their last 14 games. The Anteaters defeated Long Beach State, 8-7 in sudden death overtime, to capture their sixth Big West Tournament title.
The Anteaters and Golden Bears have not met this season, but the teams tangled at the 2015 NCAA Championship with Cal winning 6-5.
Cal, who was an at-large selection, owns a 15-9 overall record after finishing fourth at the MPSF Championship where they beat Arizona State (9-7) then lost to UCLA (8-9) and USC (6-8).
Six teams have been placed in the bracket – No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 USC, No. 4 UC Irvine, California and Michigan with the remaining four teams (Pacific, UC San Diego, Ponoma Pitzer and Wagner) competing for the last two berths in the bracket via two opening-round games on May 6.
IU Natatorium has only hosted one other NCAA water polo championship (men or women) in 1989. That year, the UCI men beat Cal, 9-8 in the final.
The championship, which is a single-elimination tournament, is hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington and Indiana Sports Corp.