After winning three-of-four matches in the recently-completed UC Irvine Invitational women's water polo tournament, San Jose State University opens Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play hosting #1-ranked UCLA, Sunday, March 1.
The Spartan Digital Network will stream the conference-opening match for both teams live from The Aquatics Center live starting at 1:00 p.m.
San Jose State (12-4, 0-0 MPSF) brings a three-match winning streak and its ninth-place at the UC Irvine Invitational into MPSF match-up. The Spartans are ranked ninth in the February 25 Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association poll.
UCLA (14-1, 0-0 MPSF) moved into the national poll's number-one spot after winning the 16-team UC Irvine Invitational with a 7-6 overtime triumph over previously unbeaten Stanford. The Bruins have a five-match winning streak on the line
The San Jose State-UCLA match is the second time this season the Spartans are facing the top team in the national coaches' poll. Earlier in the year, San Jose State lost to #1-Stanford, 11-8. The Spartans are looking for their first win over UCLA in 29 tries dating back to the 1998 season.
For the Spartans to win, they must figure out a UCLA defense anchored by Sami Hill, last year's conference Player of the Year. Hill is allowing the opposition just 4.43 goals per match. Stanford's 10-6 win over the Bruins in the Stanford Invitational championship is the only time this season a team scored 10 times against UCLA.
San Jose State hopes it has the firepower to figure out the UCLA defense. Sophomore Clara Espar Llaquet with 41 goals and junior Rae Lekness with 40 rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in MPSF scoring. UCLA's Rachel Fattal, the MPSF Player of the Week for February 24, leads a balanced Bruin offense with 24 scores.
Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association weekly national poll
February 25, 2015
|5. UC Irvine||80|
|7. Arizona State||70|
|8. Cal State Northridge||65|
|9. San José State||60|
|10. UC Davis||50|
|12. San Diego State||44|
|13. Loyola Marymount||37|
|15. Long Beach State||26|
|UC Santa Barbara||20|
|19. UC San Diego||17|
|20. Santa Clara||8|