January 21, 2014

Women’s Water Polo Hosts Winter Invite To Open 2014 Campaign Friday

The Schedule
Friday, January 24, 2014
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Baptist, 9 a.m.
at Campus Pool

No. 17 UCSB vs. No. 8 San Jose State, 1:40 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Saturday, January 25, 2014
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 4(T) Arizona State, 9 a.m.
at Campus Pool

No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 4(T) Cal, 1:40 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Sunday, January 26, 2014
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 12 UC San Diego, 8 a.m.
at Campus Pool

No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 3 UCLA, 11:30 a.m.
at Campus Pool

No. 17 UC Santa Barbara vs. Claremont Mudd-Scripps, 4:10 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Opening Week in Water Polo
The UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team starts off its 2014 season hosting the Winter Invite from Friday to Sunday. Head coach Wolf Wigo says, "This should be a really exciting year. We have a lot of young, talented freshmen along with some really dynamic returning players. With the loss of one of the best goalkeepers in the country Ruth Milne, a trio of goalkeepers are working hard to replace such talent." 

The Coaching Staff
Wolf Wigo, the Director of Men's and Women's Water Polo since 2008, will return to the deck in 2014 to coach the women's program.  He is assisted by Ryan McMillan, who also assisted Wigo for the men's water polo team this year, a former Gaucho player Rachel Nelson.

Leading the Pack
Sophomore Samantha Murphy, Junior Lauren Martin, and Sophomore Jessie Porter are all expected to play big roles this season. Wolf explained, "They are all excellent, versatile, all-around players. I expect Lauren to be one of the more dominant centers in the conference this year." As a freshman, Samantha Murphy led the team in goals, second in assists, and third in kick outs drawn. Her stellar season led her to be chosen as the Big West Freshman of the Year. Jessie Porter had an incredible freshmen year as well, coming in second on the team in goals and steals.

Fired Up Freshmen
The Gauchos welcomed 15 freshmen to their team this year. With this many incoming players, the freshmen are expected to contribute significantly this season.

On The Horizon
UC Santa Barbara was named No. 17 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll. "I strongly believe UCSB can play with the top teams in the country and fight for a Big West Championship. The team has great balance and depth, and if they can come together down the stretch of the season, great things can happen", Wolf said. Following this weekend's games, the Gauchos will head to UC San Diego to participate in the UCSD Triton Invitational from Saturday, February 8 to Sunday, February 9.