Three UCLA NCAA Championship Teams To Be Honored in White House Ceremony
June 20, 2008
Three 2008 NCAA championship teams from UCLA - women's water polo, women's tennis and men's golf - will be in Washington D.C. on Tuesday afternoon, June 24, to be honored at a White House ceremony featuring 2007-08 NCAA champions from schools around the country. Members of the teams will also have the opportunity to meet the President of the United States prior to the ceremony.
UCLA won three NCAA team titles this year to raise its total to a nation-leading 103 (124 overall national championships). UCLA's 42-person travel party includes the head coaches (Adam Krikorian, women's water polo; Stella Sampras-Webster, women's tennis; Derek Freeman, men's golf) and assistant coaches from the three teams, two senior athletic administrators and student-athletes representing all three teams. The group will depart for Washington D.C. on Sunday evening. It will tour our nation's capital on Monday afternoon and watch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play the Washington Nationals that evening.
The Bruins will arrive at the White House on Tuesday at approximately 1:30 pm. Each team will meet the President and have its picture taken with him beginning at 3:00 pm and will then move to the Rose Garden for the group ceremony. The UCLA contingent will travel back to Los Angeles on Tuesday evening.
The 2008 UCLA women's water polo team captured its fourth consecutive NCAA title, defeating crosstown rival USC, 6-3, in the championship match at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center on Sunday, May 11. The Bruins' win capped a remarkable 33-0 season, a year in which UCLA was ranked as the No. 1 team in the national poll from start to finish. UCLA finished with an undefeated record and NCAA championship for the second time in four years. In the 2008 championship match, junior Tanya Gandy paced the Bruins with two goals. The Bruins raced to a 3-1 first-quarter lead and registered a 5-1 halftime advantage. USC closed the gap to 5-2 by the end of the third quarter, and each team traded a goal in the final quarter. Gandy earned NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player honors, having scored three goals in UCLA's 11-4 win over UC Davis in the semifinal contest before netting two goals in the championship match. The 6-3 victory over USC marked the final game in a Bruins' uniform for UCLA's five seniors - Kamaile Crowell, Gabrielle Domanic, Jillian Kraus, Courtney Mathewson and Brittany Rowe - all of whom helped lead the women's water polo program to NCAA titles in each of their four seasons at UCLA. Mathewson won the Cutino Award and was named NCAA Player of the year. Krause also earned first-team All-America honors while Gandy and Brittany Fullen were second-team selections and Rowe and Katie Rulon were named to the third team.
The UCLA women's tennis program captured its first-ever NCAA Championship on May 20, defeating Pac-10 rival Cal, 4-0 in the final at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. After winning the doubles point, the Bruins picked up singles wins from Alex McGoodwin, Andrea Remynse and Riza Zalameda. Zalameda, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, clinched the victory for UCLA with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Susie Babos at court No. 1. In addition to Zalameda, Remynse (No. 4 singles), McGoodwin and Yasmin Schnack (No. 3 doubles) also received all-tournament honors. Zalameda and partner Tracy Lin were named all-tournament at No. 1 doubles. The seventh-seeded Bruins, who had lost to Georgia Tech in the NCAA Final the year before, breezed through the 2008 tournament, dropping just two points in six matches. UCLA's six wins in the tournament were as follows: def. Buffalo, 4-0 (1st Rd.), def. Denver, 4-0 (2nd Rd.), def. USC, 4-0 (Rd. of 16), def. Arkansas, 4-0 (Quarterfinals), def. Florida, 4-2 (Semifinals), def. Cal, 4-0 (Final). The Bruins were led in 2008 by its four seniors Zalameda, Lin, McGoodwin and Elizabeth Lumpkin. Zalameda and Linn also won the NCAA doubles title and were named first-team All-Americans.
On May 31, 2008, senior Kevin Chappell made a par on the 72nd hole to preserve UCLA's second NCAA title in men's golf. Chappell also won the individual title, becoming the first UCLA golfer to capture NCAA medalist honors. On the 71st hole, Chappell chipped in from off the green to maintain UCLA's one-shot lead over second place Stanford, which had made a late charge in the final round. Birdies at the 16th and 18th holes in the final round by senior Craig Leslie proved crucial to the Bruins' title hopes, as well as key par saves on the final holes by junior Erik Flores and freshman Philip Francis. The national championship was UCLA's third in May and its 103rd overall. Chappell was named national Player of the Year and a first-team All-American and Flores was a third-team selection.