The #3 UCLA Women’s Water Polo team opens its season this weekend at San Jose State’s LouStrong Invitational where they will play a total of five games over the course of the weekend. The three games against #4 UC Berkeley, the Canadian National Team and #1 Stanford are exhibition games while the games against #14 San Jose State and #17 UC Davis will count towards the teams records.
The Bruins opened with an exhibition against UC Berkeley this morning and will play another exhibition at 1 pm this afternoon against the Canadian National Team. Then, this evening, they will play host San Jose State.
UCLA opens the new season with eight freshmen on the roster. The top newcomer is US Olympian attacker Maddie Musselman who scored 12 goals in Rio. She is joined by fellow freshmen goalkeeper Hannah Storum, attackers Haley Evans, Jenna Hurst, Emily Skelly, and Brooke Maxson and utility players Tara Prentice and Bridgett Storm. The Bruins are also welcoming two junior transfers to the team, goalkeeper Donya Dehnad and utility player Bronte Halligan.
The Bruins have three redshirt seniors who are returning after redshirting last season to train with the U.S. National team for the Rio Olympics. With the Games behind them, Rachel Fattal, defender Alys Williams and attacker Kodi Hill rejoin UCLA this season. UCLA also has four All-Americans returning from last season. Mackenzie Barr led the team last year in scoring with 44 goals and 28 assists. Junior Devin Grab was a second team All-American selection last season while senior Kelsey O'Brien and redshirt senior Alexa Tielmann both garnered honorable mention selections. Last but not least, Lizette Rozeboom returns for her sophomore season after being selected to the MPSF All-Newcomer Team last season.
This year’s team is ranked third in both the Collegiate Water Polo Association preseason poll as well as the MPSF Coaches Poll. So, the team is predicted to finish 3rd overall just as they did last year. However, with four gold medalists and a solid returning core, don’t be surprised if the team captures #114 (or #115 if the Men’s Basketball team wins the NCAA title this year).
#3 UCLA Bruins (0-0)
Opponent: Canadian National Team (exhibition)
When: Saturday, January 14, 2017, 1:00 pm PT
Opponent: #14 San Jose State Spartans
When: Saturday, January 14, 2017, 5:30 pm PT
Where: West Valley College Aquatic Center, Saratoga, CA
TV, Stream, Radio/Audio and Live Stats: None