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Four Games in Four Days on Deck for No. 2 UCLA

Apr 9, 2021
Roxy Wheaton is one of five seniors on the 2021 UCLA women's water polo roster.

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LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA (7-1, 5-1 MPSF) visits No. 5 Arizona State (11-6, 5-3 MPSF) and No. 15 Indiana (8-10, 0-6 MPSF) for four games in four days in MPSF play this weekend. The Bruins face the Sun Devils on Saturday, April 10 at 11:30 a.m. PDT and then again on Sunday, April 11 at 9:30 a.m. PDT and then head off to Indiana. The Bruins will take on the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind., on Monday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m. PDT and again on Tuesday, April 13 at 8:00 a.m. PDT. All four games of the road swing will have a live stream made available and both teams will provide live stats for both games (links below).

Saturday, Apr. 10 (Mona Plummer Aquatic Center)
11:30 AM PDT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 5 Arizona State  LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM

Sunday, Apr. 11 (Mona Plummer Aquatic Center)
9:30 AM PDT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 5 Arizona State  LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM

Monday, Apr. 12 (Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center)
2:00 PM PDT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 15 Indiana  LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM

Tuesday, Apr. 13 (Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center)
8:00 AM PDT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 15 Indiana  LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM

This is the 29th meeting between UCLA and Arizona State with the Bruins leading the all-time series 27-1. UCLA won the first 15 meetings in the series until the Sun Devils posted a 7-6 home win on March 2, 2013. Since then, the Bruins have reeled off 12 straight victories, including last year's 11-8 home win on Feb. 9, 2020. The Bruins have won all 14 previous meetings with Indiana, including a home 12-9 home win a year ago on Feb. 8, 2020.

Arizona State (11-6, 5-3) already has one impressive win this season with a 10-9 home win over No. 2 Stanford (Mar. 6). The Sun Devils also lost 6-5 at home to No. 1 USC (Feb. 27). ASU is on a two-game losing streak after dropping both games last week at then-No. 6 California, 12-7 and 5-3. Luca Petovary leads the team and is second in the MPSF in scoring with 33 goals in 17 games (1.9 goals per game, ranks fifth in the MPSF). Bente Rogge is second on the squad with 28 goals which is fourth in the league (1.6 goals per game, ranks ninth in the MPSF).

Indiana (8-10, 0-6) has eight wins on the season, but only against two teams, as the Hoosiers have five wins over Salem and three victories against Saint Francis. Indiana has lost its last eight games, but one of those setbacks was a close 10-8 home defeat to No. 1 USC last week (Apr. 2). Izzy Mandema leads the team and the MPSF in scoring with 49 goals in 18 games (2.7 goals per game, also ranks first in the MPSF). Tina Doherty is second on the squad with 32 goals which is third in the league (1.8 goals per game, ranks sixth in the MPSF).

UCLA true freshman Malia Allen (Irvine, CA/Foothill HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Newcomer of the Week for the second straight week as announced by the league office on Apr. 6. Allen scored six goals in the Bruins' two victories at No. 17 San Jose State (Apr. 3-4). In the 18-6 win on Saturday, Allen scored twice and had two assists for a total of four points. She then scored a team-high-tying and career-high four goals (on six shots) and added an assist for five points in the 17-11 victory in the second game against the Spartans. She also won her only sprint on day two. This is the second career MPSF weekly award for Allen, repeating the honor from last week.

UCLA's Malia Allen was named the MPSF/KAP7 Newcomer of the Week as announced by the league office on Mar. 30. Allen scored three goals in the Bruins' 11-10 win at No. 2 Stanford (Mar. 28). The hat trick was a team-high, game-high-tying, and career-best for Allen. She also recorded one steal and drew one exclusion in the win over the Cardinal, which was the first for the Bruins since 2017, snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series. This is the first career MPSF honor for Allen.

UCLA junior Ava Johnson (Walnut Creek, CA/Las Lomas HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Player of the Week as announced by the league office on March 16. Johnson tied for team-high honors with four goals in the Bruins' two MPSF wins over previously unbeaten No. 6 California (Mar. 13-14). She opened with one goal on three shots in the 11-5 win in the first game, also registering three drawn exclusions and one steal. In game two the next day, she scored a game-high-tying three goals on five shots and drew six exclusions, while adding another steal in UCLA's 9-8 win. For the week, Johnson scored a team-high-tying four goals on eight shots and drew nine exclusions, and collected two steals. This is the third career MPSF weekly award for Johnson, previously recognized twice as a newcomer in 2019.

UCLA sophomore Abbi Hill (Santa Barbara, Calif./Dos Pueblos HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Player of the Week as announced by the league office on March 2. 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.

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.

USA Water Polo announced its 37th induction class for the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame (March 16) and UCLA's Courtney Mathewson was among the star-studded group of five members. All those from this year's class are Olympic athletes who've combined to win nine medals competing in a total 15 Olympic Games. Tony Azevedo, a record five-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic silver medalist, is joined in the class by his Beijing medal winning teammate and three-time Olympian Merrill Moses. A member of the first-ever women's Olympic water polo team, Ericka Lorenz – also a two-time medalist at the Games – will be inducted alongside two members of the next generation. Three-time Olympic medalist and two-time gold medalist Kami Craig enters the hall with her golden teammate from London 2012 and Rio 2016, Mathewson, who is also a four-time NCAA champion. The ultimate sharpshooter, Mathewson's perimeter accuracy combined with a fearless determination made her a vital piece of the USA Women's National Team from 2010 to 2016. The only thing as consistent as Mathewson's shot was her winning record. Arriving at UCLA in the mid-2000s out of Anaheim Hills, Mathewson comfortably transitioned from a smaller high school program to the most dominant women's program of the moment. Her focus in Westwood was singular, and Mathewson avoided National Team overtures on her way to winning four-straight NCAA crowns under Head Coach Adam Krikorian. In 2008 Mathewson won the Cutino Award as the college game's top player and embarked on a professional career in Spain. A year later Krikorian took over the controls for Team USA and Mathewson began training with the reigning World Champions in 2010. After helping the squad to its first FINA World Cup crown in 31 years that summer, Mathewson cemented her spot in Team USA lore in 2011. On the brink of elimination in the 2011 Pan American Games' Gold-medal match with Canada, Mathewson willed the team back with three second half goals to force a shootout where the United States prevailed, allowing them to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. A year later, Mathewson helped Team USA reach the top of the podium, claiming the program's first Olympic title. The squad followed with another World Cup crown in 2014 and a FINA World Championship in 2015. Mathewson wrapped her career with a second-straight Olympic crown at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016. Her winning ways included a second Pan Am Games Gold and six FINA World League titles. A Pac-12 All-Century Team selection, Mathewson competed domestically for the New York Athletic Club, earning multiple titles there. She's stayed close to water polo conducting camps, clinics, and swimming lessons in southern California.

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.

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).

Adam Wright is in his fourth season as UCLA's head women's water polo coach in 2021 with an overall record of 73-18 (.802) and an MPSF mark of 13-6 (.684). 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.

The Bruins are currently ranked tied for second in the 2021 CWPA National Women's Varsity Top 25 Poll (94 points), released on Apr. 7.

 2021 WOMEN'S VARSITY TOP 25 (WEEK 9 - APR. 7)
 Rank  Team  Week Two Poll  Points
 1  USC  1  100
 2 (T)  UCLA  3  94
 3 (T)  Stanford  2  94
 4  California  6  88
 5  Arizona State  4  83
 6  UC Irvine  5  80
 7  Michigan  7  77
 8 (T)  Hawai'i  8  69
 8 (T)  UC San Diego  9  69
 10  UC Davis  10  65
 11  UC Santa Barbara  11  58
 12  Fresno State  12  55
 13  Pacific  13  53
 14  San Diego State  14  47
 15  Indiana  15  44
 16 (T)  Long Beach State  16  40
 16 (T)  San José State  17  40
 18  California Baptist University  18  30
 19  Loyola Marymount  19  27
 20  Azusa Pacific  21  22
 21 (T)  Marist  20  19
 21 (T)  Bucknell  22  19
 23  Santa Clara  23  9
 24  Iona  24  6
 25 (T)  Saint Francis  RV  2
 25 (T)  Austin College  RV  2
 25 (T)  La Salle  25  2
 25 (T)  Salem  RV  2
 25 (T)  Concordia  RV  2
 RV  Villanova  RV  1
 RV  Long Island  NR  1