Bruins win all three in Hawaii
UCLA water polo players were in Honolulu last week and played three non-conference matches at Hawaii Invitational.
On March 30, the Bruins easily rolled past the Aztecs, 22-5. They scored seven unanswered goals in the first quarter, starting with Maddie Musselman’s opener after only nine seconds of playing. The Bruins’ play remained impeccable by the end of the match. Thirteen UCLA water polo players scored during this match and Alys Williams was the game’s top scorer with three goals.
No. 3 Bruins also defeated the hosts on the second day of the Invite in a match that was also not a close contest. UCLA started with a two-goal advantage, and Rainbow Wahine managed to bring the deficit down to one, but the Bruins still had +2 at the end of the first period. Thanks to the brilliant Carlee Kapana’s defense, UCLA increased their advantage to five before the break. They had a convincing +8 at the beginning of the last quarter, so they took their foot off the gas and did not increase the advantage. The final result was 12-4, and this time Maddie Musselman scored the most goals recording a hat-trick.
UCLA’s third rival at Hawaii Invite was No. 12 UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins completely dominated and the 19-2 victory over the Gauchos was their seventh in a row. Musselman found the net three times for the Bruins, while the only UCSB’s scorers were Selin and Shore who netted a goal each.
UCLA vs. San Diego 22-5 (7-0, 6-2, 3-2, 6-1)
UCLA vs. Hawaii 12-4 (3-1, 3-0, 4-1, 2-2)
UCLA vs. UC Santa Barbara 19-2 (6-1, 6-1, 3-0, 4-0)
No. 3 UCLA will play against No. 4 Arizona State on Saturday, April 8.
Trojans improve their record
On Saturday, April 1, top-ranked USC hosted an MPSF match against Arizona State water polo players who defeated Cal last week to take over position No. 4. The Trojans collected their 52nd consecutive victory and continued the record-breaking winning streak.
USC water polo players had some troubles during the first quarter because of the excellent opponent who demonstrated what brought them to the position No. 4. Maud Megens managed to net the opener, but Sun Devils’ answer was powerful giving them a one-goal advantage at the end of the first quarter. However, the Trojans did not surrender and stepped up their game to achieve a two-goal lead before the break. The third quarter was completely balanced and last eight minutes of the game determined the winner. The Trojans woke up and scored six goals while letting their rival to score only one. USC ended up with an 11-4 victory thanks to the unblemished offensive play during the last quarter.
USC vs. Arizona State 11-4 (1-2, 3-0, 1-1, 6-1)
No. 1 USC will host No. 2 Stanford on Saturday, April 8.
Cardinal too strong for Bears
Stanford triumphed over the No. 5 Cal in an away match on Sunday, April 2.
Cardinal water polo players netted three goals leaving the hosts scoreless in the first quarter. The Bears could not overcome the deficit and suffered a loss, 8-2. Makenzie Fischer and Maggie Steffens both recorded a hat-trick.
Stanford’s defense was on point. The hero of the game was Gabby Stone who recorded 15 saves, which is her personal record achieved in 2015. She is now the fourth of all-time with a total of 506 saves during her career.
With three MPSF victories, Stanford is now tied with USC and UCLA for 1st place in MPSF.
Stanford vs. Cal 8-2 (3-0, 2-1, 3-1, 0-0)
No. 5 Cal’s next opponent will be No. 14 San Jose State on Saturday, April 8.
Photo: Catharyn Hayne / KLC fotos