Pacific to host NCAA Women’s Water Polo National Championship

a water polo player throws a ball in the pool

The top women’s water polo teams in the country will compete in Stockton in May as University of the Pacific and Visit Stockton co-host the 2023 NCAA Women’s Water Polo National Championship at the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center.

Eight teams will participate in a single-elimination tournament starting Friday, May 12 and conclude by crowning a national champion Sunday, May 14.

"We're excited to host this elite water polo tournament," said Pacific Head Coach James Graham. "This will be a world-class event, and we look forward to having the nation's best teams and players on campus."

The Friday schedule will include eight teams competing in four games, scheduled to start at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The four winners will battle in 5 and 7 p.m. semifinal games on Saturday, May 13. The championship, which will be televised by ESPN, will be played at 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 14.

All-session tickets are on sale on the athletics website. The $70 ticket will provide general admission for all three days. Single-day tickets go on sale May 1, the same date the brackets are announced. One-day tickets are $30 for general admission seating or $20 for youth (17 and under) and college students with a valid ID.

Pacific’s path to the national championship field is through the Golden Coast Conference. The GCC Tournament is April 28-30 in San Diego with the winner receiving an automatic berth in the field. Since there are nine qualifying teams, two teams will compete in a first-round game prior to May 12.

Pacific’s last appearance in the national championship field was in 2019 as winners of the GCC. The Tigers also played in the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018. Fresno State was the GCC representative in 2021 and 2022.

Stanford won its eighth title in 2022, defeating University of Southern California in the championship game. Either Stanford or USC have won the last 12 championships. As of the March 22 national poll, Stanford and USC are ranked 1-2 in the country. Pacific is ranked No. 12.

This event marks the first time Pacific has hosted the women’s water polo championship. Pacific and Visit Stockton co-hosted the 2019 NCAA Men’s Water Polo National Championship at the Chris Kjeldsen Pool, where the Tigers advanced to the championship game.

Pacific has hosted two other NCAA championships on the campus: the 1982 and 1986 volleyball national championships. The Tigers won the 1986 title at home.