STOCKTON, Calif. - The No. 10 ranked women's water polo team gear up for the annual Barbara Kalbus Tournament hosted by UC Irvine this weekend.
The tournament will feature the nation's best as 17 of the top-25 teams will be competing in the tournament.
The Tigers (2-3) will face off against hosts No. 7 UCI (7-4) on Friday at 4:15 PM to kick off the weekend at the Anteater Aquatics Complex. Pacific will then either face No. 2 Stanford or No. 21 CSUN at 10:30 AM Saturday depending on results.
-No. 10 Pacific vs. No. 7 UC Irvine |Friday, Feb. 22nd | 4:15 PM
-Location: Anteater Aquatics Complex
-Weather: High of 59, low of 39. Sunny.
LAST TIME OUT:
- The Tigers last played two weekends ago (Feb. 9th) against Cal at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, Calif.
- Pacific would keep the match close but eventually fall to the Golden Bears by a final score of 15-11.
- Mariana Duarte led the team with four goals off 4-8 shooting. This would mark her first hat trick of the season.
CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY:
- Junior Kyra Christmas made her first appearance in the water for the Tigers in their game against Cal.
- The reigning Golden Coast Conference Player of the Year made her first start following injury and quickly produced recording three goals, three assists, three steals, and four drawn exclusions.
- Christmas looks to replicate an award-winning season like year as she led the conference with 61 goals, 40 assists, and a shot percentage of .407.
- The Tigers' underclassmen continue to emerge in their roles for Orange and Black. As a group, the freshman four-some of Lucy Davis, Brianna Utas, Toula Falvey, and Ana do Amaral have a combined 11 goals and four assists on the year. Each freshmen has chipped in at least one goal for the Orange and Black.
- Brianna Utas has kept a steady presence as a 2-meter player shooting .600 percent from the field. Utas leads the team in shot percentage per at least ten shot attempts.
- Sophomore Savannah Fitzgerald has increased her minutes efficiency in the Tigers' starting line this year accounting for seven goals, a team-high 10 drawn exclusions, and two field blocks. Fitzgerald drew a career-high five exclusions in the Tigers' first match against Cal this season (Feb. 2nd).
SPREAD THE WEALTH:
- The Tigers have showcased they are a dynamic team on offense as six players have tallied at least five goals.
- Despite a team-high nine assists on the season, team captain Viktoria Szmodics has proven she can do it all as she also leads the team with 13 goals.
- The Hungary native has scored in all five of the Tigers' matches this season. Szmodics also has two hat tricks on the year.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
- The Anteaters jumped up to the No. 7 ranking following a 12-6 win over Indiana and 22-6 victory over Whittier last weekend.
- Mary Brooks paved the way for UCI in their weekend affair totaling eight goals for the Eaters. Her efforts earned her this week's Big West Player of the Week.
- The Tigers are 6-22 in in their all-time series against UC Irvine. Pacific took two wins versus UCI last season with a 12-11 overtime victory and 12-9 win.
- UOP also beat UCI for seventh place last year in last season's Barbara Kalbus Invitational.