No. 2 UCLA Hosts No. 6 California Twice This Weekend
LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA (2-0, 0-0 MPSF) is home this weekend to host No. 6 California (5-0, 0-0 MPSF) in the home opener for the Bruins and the MPSF opener for both teams on Saturday, March 13 at 11:00 a.m. PT. The Bruins and the Golden Bears will also square off on Sunday, March 14 at 11:00 a.m. PT at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center. UCLA will provide a live stream and live stats for both games against the Golden Bears (links below).
This is the 73rd meeting between UCLA and California with the Bruins leading the series 59-13 (.819). UCLA posted an 11-5 win at California to open MPSF play last year on March 7, 2020, the week before COVID-19 shut down the rest of the season. The Bruins have won the last three meetings, dating back to a 7-6 overtime loss on Feb. 24, 2019 in the third-place game of the Barbara Kalbus Invitational at UC Irvine.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (5-0) and UCLA have one common opponent in 2021 as the Bruins defeated Fresno State 19-10 while California defeated the Bulldogs 16-7 and 11-9 in overtime. The Golden Bears also have a 22-3 win over Fresno Pacific (Feb. 20), a 19-8 victory over San Jose State (Feb. 27) and an 11-10 win over UC Santa Barbara in their last outing on March 6. California is led by Reagan Whitney with nine goals and Brigit Mulder and Grace Raisin with eight goals apiece.
HILL NAMED MPSF/KAP7 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
UCLA sophomore Abbi Hill (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) has been named the MPSF/KAP7 Player of the Week as announced by the league office on Tuesday. Hill scored five goals on eight shots in the No. 3 Bruins' 13-9 win at No. 5 UC Irvine (Feb. 26). She added one assist for six points and was credited with one drawn exclusion. Hill scored one goal in the first, second, and fourth periods and twice in the third. Her goal with 2:20 left in the third quarter was the eventual game-winner. This was the fourth career MPSF weekly award for Hill.
MILLER NAMED MPSF/KAP7 NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
UCLA's Cassidy Miller (Santa Barbara, Calif./San Marcos HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Newcomer of the Week as announced by the league office on Feb. 16. Playing in her first collegiate game, the true freshman attacker led all scorers with an MPSF season-high-tying five goals (on six shots) in the Bruins' 19-10 season-opening win at No. 11 Fresno State (2-1) on Feb. 14. She also led the team in total points (five) and drew two exclusions and had one steal against the Bulldogs. She scored the first two goals of the game for UCLA, the first on a penalty shot and the second on a power play in the first period. She added two more power play goals in the second period. Her fifth goal came at even strength and gave UCLA a 12-5 advantage at the 6:32 mark of the third period. This is the first career MPSF honor for Miller.
All six of UCLA's 2020 ACWPC All-Americans return for the 2021 season. First-team selection sophomore Abbi Hill headlines the group. Two-time All-American and second-teamer junior Val Ayala returns as does four Bruins that earned honorable mention accolades for the first time in their careers. That group includes redshirt sophomore Georgia Phillips, senior Brooke Maxson, and juniors Katrina Drake and Ava Johnson.
RETURNING ALL-MPSF SELECTIONS
All five players that earned All-MPSF plaudits in 2020 as well as the three Bruins on the All-Newcomer team are also back for the 2021 campaign. Sophomore Abbi Hill and junior Val Ayala were both named first team All-MPSF last year while redshirt sophomore Georgia Phillips received second team honors. Junior Katrina Drake and senior Brooke Maxson were both named honorable mention. Three of the seven members on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team were Bruins, which included Hill and Phillips as well as attacker Hannah Palmer.
The Bruins are fortunate to have four goalkeepers on the 2021 roster, led by senior Jahmea Bent. The Bruins also return redshirt sophomore Georgia Phillips and sophomore Quinn Winter. UCLA welcomes in freshman Sydney Chiang (Temple City, Calif./Temple City HS).
For the second-consecutive season, the UCLA women's water polo active roster is completely made up of student-athletes that are from the state of California (27).
WRIGHT ON DECK
Adam Wright is in his fourth season as UCLA's head women's water polo coach in 2021 with an overall record of 68-17 (.800) and an MPSF mark of 8-5 (.615). On July 20, 2017, then-UCLA Director of Athletics, Dan Guerrero, announced that Wright would guide both the UCLA men's and women's water polo teams.
Overall Record: 19-2 | Final Ranking: 2nd (tied) | NCAA Finish: n/a | MPSF Tournament Finish: n/a
UCLA finished the season at 19-2 overall and 2-0 in the MPSF in the COVID-shortened season of 2020 in head coach Adam Wright's third season at the helm of the program. The Bruins went undefeated at the Michigan Invitational (4-0) and won the Triton Invitational with a 7-5 win over No. 1 USC in the championship game (Feb. 9). Freshman Abbi Hill headlined the list of Bruin selections with the lone First-Team accolades. Sophomore Val Ayala earned her second straight All-America recognition as she was named to the Second Team after earning Honorable Mention plaudits last year. Four Bruins earned Honorable Mention All-America accolades for the first time in their careers. That group included redshirt freshman Georgia Phillips, senior Brooke Maxson, and sophomores Katrina Drake and Ava Johnson. Hill and Ayala were both named first team All-MPSF while Phillips received second team honors. Drake and Maxson were both named honorable mention. Three of the seven members on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team were Bruins, which included Hill and Phillips as well as Bruin freshman attacker Hannah Palmer. Additionally, eight student-athletes were named to the MPSF All-Academic team and for the third-straight season, a total of 12 Bruins claimed ACWPC All-Academic honors.
UCLA IN THE CWPA POLL
The Bruins are currently ranked third in the 2021 CWPA National Women's Varsity Top 25 Poll (94 points), released on Mar. 10.
|2021 WOMEN'S VARSITY TOP 25 (WEEK 3 - FEB. 24)|
|Rank||Team||Week Two Poll||Points|
|5||Arizona State||5 (T)||86|
|9||UC Santa Barbara||9||70|
|10||UC San Diego||10||64|
|14||San Diego State||16||48|
|15 (T)||Long Beach State||17||46|
|15 (T)||San Jose State||15||41|
|17 (T)||Loyola Marymount||14||36|
|22||California Baptist University||20||20|
|23||Santa Clara||23 (T)||8|