Water Polo Hosts Pacific Invitational
After an impressive showing in Santa Barbara last weekend, the Pacific women's water polo team returns to the friendly confines of the Chris Kjeldsen Aquatics Complex where it will play host to the second annual Pacific Invitational this Saturday, Feb. 2. CSU East Bay, Azusa Pacific and Hartwick will join the Tigers for this year's edition of the invite.
Pacific opens the day against CSUEB at 9 a.m. before squaring off with Azusa Pacific at 3 p.m. The invite wraps up with a 7 p.m. tilt that will see the Tigers taking on Hartwick under the lights, marking the first night game in the history of Pacific Women's Water Polo. Pacific is 9-1 all-time versus CSU East Bay and are undefeated in two tries against Azusa Pacific.
The Tigers have yet to defeat Hartwick, having played the Hawks six times, but never at Kjeldsen Pool. The Tigers are coming off a strong performance at the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational last weekend. Pacific went 3-1 in its four games, including an upset of then-No. 8 Loyola Marymount. The win over LMU marked the first time since the 2010 season that the Tigers have defeated a team ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Pacific also collected wins over Azusa Pacific and CSU Bakersfield while falling to No. 3 UCLA in the invite's opening game. Junior goalkeeper Michele Relton was a force in the cage for the Tigers all weekend, recording 45 saves over Pacific's four games. She set a season high with 14 blocks versus Azusa Pacific after opening the weekend with 12 stops against UCLA. Her performance in Santa Barbara landed her Big West Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career. In a little more than two seasons in Stockton, the Canadian native has racked up an astounding 679 career saves, needing just two to become the school's all-time leader in career blocks.
CSU East Bay has yet to play a match this season, opening its campaign with a pair of matches this Friday, Feb. 1. Azusa Pacific owns a 1-5 record, including a 13-5 loss to Pacific at the UCSB Winter Invite last weekend. Hartwick has won its lone game of the 2013 season, defeating Marist, 13-4.