Forget UCLA. Forget USC. Forget the rest of the MPSF conference. Forget the idea that Stanford women’s water polo could be felled for a second time this season.
First came No. 1 USC. Then came No. 5 Arizona State. And to complete the top-five trifecta, last came No. 2 UCLA. Through the toughest stretch of its schedule featuring a trio of elite conference opponents, No. 1 Stanford (19-1, 5-0 MPSF) prevailed by defeating all three in consecutive meetings, capping the stretch off with a 9-8 downing of UCLA (22-3, 4-1) in a battle of the nation’s top two teams on Friday before having no issues in a drubbing of Cal State-Bakersfield (12-19, 0-5) on Saturday.
Friday’s women’s water polo match will be a true clash of the titans, but different titans than many expected during the preseason. While many expected the No. 1 Cardinal (17-1, 3-0 MPSF) to be fighting for the top spot in the nation, most expected that the other team in the top two would be No. 3 USC and not No. 2 UCLA (21-2, 3-0). However, it is in fact the Bruins that hold that second-place spot in the latest rankings, presumably making Friday’s battle between Stanford and UCLA one for the top spot in the nation.
With its 33rd straight win over rival Cal last Friday, the No. 1 Stanford women’s water polo team wrapped up its fourth straight undefeated Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) regular season. The Cardinal (26-1, 6-0 MPSF) now turns its attention to the MPSF Championship, which will take place this weekend in Berkeley.
The No. 2 Stanford women’s water polo team will welcome No. 4 UCLA to the Avery Aquatic Center this Saturday for a match with heavy conference implications. Stanford’s senior class will also be recognized at the game.