STOCKTON, Calif. - The women's water polo team (17-8, 7-0) trek down to Palo Alto, Calif. tomorrow for an NCAA Opening round match against Cal Lutheran (21-8, 12-2).
The No. 7 seeded Tigers extend their postseason run as they get set for 1:45 PM match against the Regals at Tournament host Stanford's Avery Aquatics Center.
Match Day Info:
-Pacific vs. Cal Lutheran | Tuesday, May 6th | 1:45 PM PST
-Location: Palo Alto, CA | Avery Aquatic Center | Stanford University
-Weather: 67 degrees. Partly Sunny.
LAST TIME OUT:
Pacific garnered it's third straight Golden Coast Conference title two weekends ago following a 13-9 victory over LMU.
Three Tigers received All-GCC Tournament honors including senior duo Brinnley Barthels and Viktoria Szmodics and two-time All-Tournament MVP Kyra Christmas. Christmas powered the Orange and Black with five goals in the contest making it 11 straight matches with a recorded hat trick.
- UOP would also secure their third consecutive NCAA Championship bid following the win.
WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN:
- Currently riding a nine-game winning streak, Pacific has found their stride during the second half of the season taking 10 out of their last 12 regular season matches dating back to March 3rd.
- During this stretch nine out of their 10 matches have been decided by four or more goals including including five double-digit victories against Fresno State, Azusa Pacific, Concordia, and Santa Clara.
SEE THE BEST, BEAT THE BEST:
- Pacific has not shied away in the face of great competition this season. Of their 25 matches this year, 21 of them have been against opponents ranked in the CWPA top-25 poll.
- 11 of the Tigers' games this year have also been against opponents ranked in the CWPA national top-ten poll.
- Despite a 3-8 record against teams in the top-10, eight of those matches have been decided by at least four goals or fewer.
SPREAD THE WEALTH:
- The Tigers have showcased their ability to spread the wealth on offense as nine players have tallied at least 10 or more goals- seven of which have found the back end at least 20 times.
- Of their 298 goals this year, 177 of them have come off an assist.
- Reigning GCC Player of the Year Kyra Christmas currently leads the Tigers with 94 points, 64 goals and 30 assists. Senior Viktoria Szmodics stands right behind Christmas with 86 points this season.
- Pacific has taken advantage of their chances on offense as seven players hold a .400 shooting percentage or above per at least 20 shot attempts. Graduate senior Brinnley Barthels leads the group going 23-37 (.622) from the field.
- Christmas made history in Pacific's title match on Sunday becoming just the fith player in school history to eclipse the 200 goal career mark. The junior sits in fourth place behind former Tiger Cari Bertrand (206) with career 204 goals.
- Viktoria Szmodics and Mariana Duarte are on the cusp of reaching the 150 career goal mark as both attackers currently stand at 149 goals.
- Three Tigers hold shooting streaks heading into the weekend:Mariana Duarte, Kyra Christmas, and Viktoria Szmodics.
- Christmas holds the longest streak of any active Tiger with a goal with 12 straight matches.
- 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 Martinez do Amaral have combined for a total of 33 goals and 13 assists this year.
- All-GCC Fresman Team recipient Brianna Utas currently leads the first-year group with 13 goals, 13 steals, and a shot percentage of .419.
- Sophomore Savannah Fitzgerald has emerged as an X-factor for the Tigers' starting line this year accounting for 31 goals, fourth-best on the team, at the center position. The Clovis, Calif. native has also tallied 22 drawn exclusions and currently carries an even .500 shot percentage for her team.
- All-GCC Freshman keeper Clara Vulpisi has excelled at the goalie position in her first year with the Tigers.
- The goalie from Montreal, Canada has collected 182 saves in 25 starts for UOP leading all freshman goalies in the conference.
- During of her 25 appearances, Vulpisi recorded 18 matches with at least five saves holding a record of 13-5 when doing so.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
- vs. Cal Lutheran (21-8, 12-2):
- The Regals are coming off it's second Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
- Cal Lutheran would beat Cal Poly Pomona-Pitzer, 10-9, to advance to the NCAA Championships. This is their second NCAA Tournament appearance since 2009.
- Lexi Rond will be the Regals driving force on offense as she leads the team with 57 goals. Nikki Roed and Jessica Diaz follow Rond with 39 and 33 goals respectively.
- Senior keeper Bailey Meyer has recorded 314 saves this season. The Santa Ana, Calif. native has started all 28 matches for the Regals.
- This is just the fifth meeting in the history of the two teams. Their last match came during the 2013 season when the Tigers took an 11-6 victory over the Regals in a nonconference matchup.
- UOP is 3-1 all-time when facing off against Cal Lutheran.
- The winner of Tuesday's match will face NCAA hosts Stanford on Friday, May 10th at 3:30 PM.
- Tickets to attend the 2019 NCAA Championships can be found here.