Pacific Concludes Big West Play Against CSUN, UCSB
The Pacific women's water polo team returns to the friendly confines of the Chris Kjeldsen Aquatics Complex this weekend as it closes out Big West Conference play versus two ranked foes. The Tigers will square off with No. 17 Cal State Northridge on Saturday, April 14, before meeting No. 15 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, April 15. Both matches are set to get underway at noon.
Pacific (9-15, 0-3 Big West) is currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, thanks in large part to the slew of ranked opponents the Tigers have faced over the past month. Since March 18, Pacific has fallen to four different top 20 teams while losing to Big West rival UC Davis twice in that span. The Tigers have been competitive in nearly every game, however, losing by no more than four goals in six of their last seven outings.
The Tigers are coming off of a weekend that saw the team drop a pair of contests in Big West action, losing to Long Beach State, 9-6, before falling to No. 6 UC Irvine, 14-2. Six different players scored for Pacific on the weekend as sophomore Elise Martin and freshman Kelsey Carter notched two goals apiece to lead the team. Sophomore goalkeeper Michele Relton notched 20 saves over the two games, including 11 against Long Beach State.
Senior Kim Kay has been a bright spot for the Tigers during their tough stretch, scoring 10 goals in Pacific's last six games, including a career high-tying four goals versus UC Davis on March 31. Martin has continued to play well, also, earning Big West Player of the Week honors on March 28 after Pacific's near-upsets of Maryland and UC Davis. She showed her versatility against UC Davis, putting up three goals while adding three assists, three steals, and three drawn ejections.
Cal State Northridge (15-17, 1-2 BWC) comes to Stockton having lost three of its last four matches. The Matadors dropped a pair of games last Saturday, falling at UC Santa Barbara before losing to Cal Baptist later that afternoon. CSUN has been a streaky team all season, owning a winning streak of six games and a losing streak of five games. Cal State Northridge boasts two 50-plus goal scorers in Jenny Jamison (59) and Marisa Young (53), while Lindsy Nelson has tallied 42 scores on the year. Dana Harvey has earned a majority of the minutes in the cage, blocking 225 shots while allowing 7.54 goals per game.
UC Santa Barbara (18-12, 2-1 BWC) enters the weekend in second place in the league standings, needing a sweep if it hopes to earn a share of the conference regular season title. The Gauchos have been playing well of late, winning eight of their last ten matches, all of which were played at home. UCSB boasts a balanced offensive attack as seven players have scored at least 20 goals this season, including two with at 30 goals apiece. Goalkeeper Ruth Milne is one of the league's best keepers and has tallied 348 saves while giving up 209 goals.