Tigers Open Home Stand With Long Beach State, UC Irvine
The No. 18 Pacific women's water polo team opens a three-game home stand this week with Big West matches versus ninth-ranked Long Beach State and No. 6 UC Irvine. The Tigers will take on the 49ers at 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, before squaring off with the Anteaters at noon Saturday.
Pacific (16-8, 1-1 BWC) split a pair of road league contests last weekend, falling at 13th-ranked Cal State Northridge, 9-6, on Saturday before rebounding to upset then-No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 10-7, on Sunday. Sophomore Taylor Adair led the Tigers with five goals on the weekend, tying her career high with four goals against the Gauchos. Freshman Gracie Smith notched her six hat trick of the season versus the Matadors while sophomore Brydie Pye tallied three scores at UCSB. Junior goalkeeper Michele Relton totaled 24 blocks in Pacific's two games, including 15 saves in the Tigers' upset over UCSB.
Adair and Pye are forming quite the 1-2 punch for the Tigers this season. Adair led Pacific with five goals over the weekend while Pye added four scores. Over their last 10 games, the pair has scored 46 of the Tigers' 104 goals, accounting for more than 40-percent of Pacific's offense. Adair is averaging 2.40 goals in her last 10 games while Pye is averaging 2.20 goals in her last 10 games. Pye leads Pacific with 46 goals while Adair has scored 37 times this season, good for second on the team.
Long Beach State (19-4, 0-2 BWC) earned a pair of wins last weekend, defeating Brown and Redlands. The 49ers' two conferences losses two weeks ago snapped a 16-game winning streak that spanned 25 days from mid-February to mid-March and included wins over ranked foes Michigan and Indiana. Chelsea Parks (47 goals) and Christina Kotsia (37 goals) lead LBSU's offensive attack while goalkeeper Kelly Ringel (175 saves) has seen a majority of the time between the pipes.
UC Irvine (13-7, 1-1 BWC) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end with a loss in sudden victory overtime to Hawai'i two weeks ago. Kelsey Klatt and McKenna Mitchell are tied for the team lead with 29 goals apiece while Hannah Croghan (27 goals) gives the Anteaters another offensive threat. Goalkeeper Jillian Yocum has recorded 169 saves in 18 appearances.