Third-Seeded Gauchos Set to Host Big West Tournament

April 28, 2011

• The Schedule
Friday, April 29, 2011
#4 Pacific (20-11, 2-3) vs. #5 UC Davis (18-11, 1-4), 3:30 p.m.
#3 UC Santa Barbara (16-11, 3-2) vs. #6 Long Beach State (12-16, 1-4), 5:15 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Saturday, April 30, 2011
#1 UC Irvine (19-8, 5-0) vs. Game One Winner, 3:30 p.m.
#2 Cal State Northridge (21-14, 3-2) vs. Game Two Winner, 5:15 p.m.
at Campus Pool

Sunday, May 1, 2011 
Fifth Place Match, 11 a.m.
Third Place Match, 12:45 p.m.
Championship Match, 2:30 p.m.
at Campus Pool

• Big West Conference Tournament Comes to UCSB
This weekend UC Santa Barbara will play host of the third annual Big West Conference Women's Water Polo Tournament at Campus Pool. The Gauchos - who are seeded third in the tournament - will play sixth-seeded Long Beach State in the first round on Friday at 5:15 p.m.

• What's At Stake
This marks the first year that the Big West will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament, which is being hosted by Michigan the weekend of May 13-15. The winner of this weekend's tournament will be awarded the league's berth along with the Big West Tournament title.

• UCSB vs. the Rest of the Big West
The Gauchos posted a 3-2 record in Big West play and has gone 4-5 overall against conference teams this season. UCSB has faced its first round opponent Long Beach twice this season: losing the first pairing, 5-2, on Feb. 12 and winning the league countable game, 8-7, on April 16. Last season, UCSB finished fourth in the tournament and in 2009, at the inaugural tournament, they were the runners-up. UC Irvine has won the last two Big West Tournament titles.

• Home Pool Advantage
UCSB has posted a 9-3 record at Campus Pool this season and has won its last six home games.

• On A Roll
Seniors Claire Buchanan and Kathryn Nelson are each amidst significant scoring streaks. Buchanan has scored in the last 10 games, marking her longest streak of the season. She has posted 21 goals across those contests. Nelson, meanwhile, has scored 17 goals across the last nine games. It ties her season-opening nine game scoring streak.

• Buchanan's Bullet Point
Senior Claire Buchanan is second on the team with her 40 goals and led the team with 10 goals scored in Big West contests. The Carmichael, Calif. native leads the team with a whopping 80 earned ejections and has also posted 14 steals on the year.

• Nelson Notebook
Senior Kathryn Nelson continues to lead the Gauchos in goals with 52 this season, which more than doubles her total in goals from her previous seasons at UCSB. Nelson has tallied a goal in all but four contests this year and has had 17 multiple goal games. Additionally, she leads the team in steals (37) and field blocks (11) and is third in assists (15).

• Last Line of Defense
Sophomore goalkeeper Ruth Milne has started all 30 contests in goal for the Gauchos this season. Milne is currently averaging 12.0 saves per game, which ranks first in the conference, and 7.4 goals against. She has had double-digit saves on 19 occasions, including a season-best 16 against Cal on Feb. 26. Milne, who has totaled 289 saves so far has already surpassed her 2010 school record for single season saves (275) and is 31 saves away from matching the UCSB career record set by Yvonne Conard (2000-02) at 595 saves.

• Record Watch
Senior Christie Clark's 29 goals this season have brought her career count to 145, which ranks fourth on the UCSB career-scoring list. She needs seven more goals to match No. 3 Jennifer D'Anna's career output. Claire Buchanan (102 career goals) and Kathryn Nelson (101) are tied eighth and 10th, respectively, on the all-time career goals list.

• Tournament Central
For information on the Big West Women's Water Polo Tournament including how to purchase tickets, where to park and up-to-date game scores, visit the tournament page by clicking here.