By Jeremy Rubin
Second-seeded Stanford women’s water polo (12-5, 8-4 MPSF) will face off against No. 10 Fresno State (13-5, 6-1 GCC) to open the Cardinal’s 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Stanford is seeking to defend its 2019 title and looking to add to its seven total championships in program history, which is tied for UCLA for the most all-time. The team retains much of its 2019 core and all four of last year’s All Americans — sophomore driver Hannah Constandse, redshirt senior goalkeeper Emalia Eichelberger, senior driver Sarah Klass and fifth year driver Hannah Shabb.
Klass leads the team with 42 goals scored on the season, but the team is by no means carried by a single player. Freshman driver Jewel Roemer is a close second with 38 scores, and five total players have more than 25 through the first 17 games of the season.
The winner of today’s quarterfinals matchup will take on either UCLA or Hawai’i on Saturday.
The Cardinal have previously played Fresno State four times, all in the past three seasons, and own a career 4-0 record against the Bulldogs. The last contest between the two teams was a low-scoring 8-6 victory in Feb. 2020.
Head coach John Tanner’s team aims to make it 5-0 following today’s matchup. Start time is 4 p.m. PT from Los Angeles, Calif.