Back-to-back Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament champion UC Irvine drew Pomona-Pitzer in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Anteaters and Sagehens will face off on Wednesday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m. at the Uytengsu Aquatics Complex on the campus of USC. The winner of the matchup advances to play No. 2 national seed Stanford on Friday, May 11 at 3:30 pm PT.
UCI claimed the automatic bid from the Big West after a dramatic 8-7 win in sudden victory over top-seeded Hawai'i last weekend. UCI is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 6-7 record among backdraw and straight bracket formats. The six appearances is the most in Big West history.
The team is led by first team Big West honorees freshman utility Tara Prentice (38 g, 23 a) and junior goalkeeper Jenna Phreaner (169 sv, .610 svpct, 6.16 gaa). The club is 10-5 since March 1 including a five-match win streak that carried them into the NCAA Tournament. UCI has not faced Pomona-Pitzer this season, having last played the Sagehens in 2016. That was a 14-2 Anteater win on the road.