NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships: All Pac-12 semifinal round set for Saturday

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John McGillen / Scott Chandler / Stanford Athletics / Catharyn Hayne Photography

Four Pac-12 women's water polo teams dove into the familiar waters at Uytengsu Aquatics Center Friday at USC as part of the 2018 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships. And not surprisingly, it'll be an All-Pac-12 semifinal round Saturday for a berth to the national title match.

[Related: 2018 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships bracket (NCAA.com)]

USC

The No. 1 seed Trojans got off to a hot start in their home pool with a convincing 12-5 victory over Wagner. Sophomore Kaylee Brownsberger had a hat trick on just five total shots against the Seahawks.

Five other USC players scored, including two goals apiece from Paige Hauschild, Maud Megens, Denise Mammolito and Elise Stein (with a single goal from Brianna Daboub). Goalkeepers Amanda Longan and Victoria Chamorro combined for 16 saves on the day.

 

UCLA

UCLA, seeded No. 4 overall in the field, built up an early lead against Pacific and cruised to an 8-4 win to advance in the NCAA Championships.

The Bruins led, 4-0, after Lexi Liebowitz scored midway through the second quarter. Then, the Tigers rallied for two goals to make it 4-2 at halftime, but UCLA stretched its lead to 6-3 after three quarters. 

Lizette Rozeboom, Devin Grab and Liebowitz each tallied two goals in the win. The Bruins advance to face USC on Satuday in the semifinals at 3 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. MT. USC took all three matches when the two programs met during the regular season. 

Stanford

Stanford, the defending national champions and No. 2 seed, defeated UC Irvine 14-8 behind yet another balanced performance. Six Stanford players notched two goals while Kat Klass had a match-high three assists.

The Cardinal shot 56 percent and held the Anteaters to 32 percent. With the victory, Stanford finished off a season sweep of UC Irvine.

California

Though both Cal and Michigan had near equal opportunities on goal Friday, the No. 3 Golden Bears were much more efficient with their chances, cruising past Michigan, 13-6.

Doral Antal had a match-high five assists and five Cal players had two goals.

Now, the Golden Bears will prepare to battle rival Stanford for a berth to the NCAA title match on the line. Stanford won two of three matches during the 2018 season. But all of the matchups were close: 11-9, 8-7, 12-9.

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