A Look Back At The 2018 Women's Water Polo Season
Big West Women's Water Polo Final Weekly Release
Record-breaking performances and an impressive run to the title highlighted another outstanding Big West women's water polo campaign.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
‘EATERS DO IT AGAIN
UC Irvine went into the Big West Tournament with a sub-.500 record and the third seed, but the Anteaters put together a magical run to win the tourney title in sudden victory front of their home fans. The victory gave the program its league-record eighth Tournament crown as the squad topped Hawai’i in the championship match. UCI had previously been 0-2 against the Rainbow Wahine at the conference Tournament, losing in overtime in both previous matches (2013, 15).
QUEEN OF THE GOALS
CSUN senior Madeleine Sanchez reached the mountain top in the scoring category, becoming the all-time leading scorer in Big West history. Sanchez scored three goals against Hawai’i on April 15 to push her career total to 226, passing former UCI scorer Jessy Cardey who tallied 224 from 2011-14. Sanchez wrapped up her distinguished career with 229 goals.
THE ALL-AMERICAN CREW
Eight players earned the prestigious title of All-American from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches. Hawai’i’s Irene Gonzalez earned first team honors, the first player in the Big West to claim the honor since UH’s Monika Eggens in 2013. UC Irvine’s Tara Prentice was a second team honoree, while honorable mention went to CSUN’s Madeleine Sanchez, Long Beach State’s Tori Morrissey, UC Davis’ Paige Virgil, UCI’s Natalie Seidemann, UC Santa Barbara’s Kate Pipkin and UH’s Chloe Barr.
HAWAI’I CLAIMS OUTRIGHT CROWN
Hawai’i went unbeaten in league play this year to claim the Big West regular season title for just the second time in conference history. The ‘Bows went 21-5 on the season, falling one win shy of tying their most wins as a member of the Big West and also recording the lone 20-win season in the league this season.
‘BOWS SCORE LIKE NO OTHER
Hawai’i put together an offensive season that no other team in the league could match, putting up 298 goals in only 26 games. The 11.46 goals per game average is the best in a season in Big West history, narrowly topping CSUN’s 2014 mark of 11.44 goals per outing.
The final rankings saw three clubs end up in the top 10 and all six clubs in the top 19. Regular season champion Hawai’i led the way at #7 with Tournament champion UC Irvine right behind at #8. UC Davis finished the year at #10, Long Beach State tied at #12, UC Santa Barbara was #18 and CSUN completed the Big West reps in the poll at #19.
This season has seen a pair of coaches reach career milestones. UC Irvine’s Dan Klatt became the first coach in league history to reach the 200 win plateau when the Anteaters downed CSUN in conference action. UCI was also involved in the other coaching milestone in a loss to Hawai’i. The Rainbow Wahine victory gave coach Maureen Cole win No. 100 for her career.