UC Irvine Begins Title Defense This Week
Big West Women's Water Polo Weekly Release No. 2
The curtain rises on the 2018 season for UC Irvine as the club takes the first steps toward defending its regular season and Tournament titles. UCI is one of three clubs in competition this weekend, joining UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
DEFENDING CHAMPS HIT THE POOL
Defending Big West champion UC Irvine will compete in its first regular season competition of 2018 as it travels to the Bay Area for the California Cup. The seventh-ranked Anteaters have a challenging slate to open the campaign as they will play #16 San Jose State, #1 Stanford and #2 California. UCI will welcome back 13 players from last year’s regular season and Tourament championship squad, with seniors accounting for six of those players.
PLENTY OF GOALS TO GO AROUND
The first weekend of competition saw plenty balls hitting the back of the net. UC Santa Barbara dropped 21 goals in its season opener against Fresno Pacific. Hawai’i nearly matched that output as it put up 20 goals against Marist two days later. The ‘Bows Femke Aan was the high scorer of the weekend, as the junior netted six goals against the Red Foxes.
PIPKIN MAKING IT EASY
UC Santa Barbara utility Kate Pipkin had a very successful weekend to open 2018. Pipkin totaled 10 goals and 11 assists over her five matches, totaling 21 points on the weekend. Not surprisingly Pipkin is all over the Big West leaderboard as she ranks second in goals, first in assists and first in points.
IN THE RANKINGS
All six Big West teams remain in after week 1, led by Hawai’i at #6 and UC Irvine at #7. Long Beach State remained at #10 as did UC Davis at #11. UC Santa Barbara jumped up to #19 and CSUN checks in at #23 to wrap up the league clubs in the top 25.
Ten players who earned either first or second team All-Big West honors return to the fold in 2018, six of those being first team honorees.
KLATT CLOSING IN
UC Irvine coach Dan Klatt, the winningest coach in league history, is closing in on another major milestone. Two more victories gives Klatt 200 for his career, making him the first coach in league history to attain the feat.
The Big West Tour sponsored Fox PrimeTicket, Smile Generation and GEICO returns for 2018, running January 10th through March 3rd. Over the course of the Tour, Big West representatives will make stops at the eight Big West campuses in California, giving fans opportunities to win prizes from the Big West spin wheel.
The Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2018 season, the event's ninthth year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 8-10, with the women's first and second rounds March 6-7 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 9-10. The entire men's tournment will be played at Honda Center March 8-10. For more information on the 2018 Big West Tournament please visit: www.bigwesttournament.com.