On Monday, the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Committee announced the ten teams that will make up the 2018 National Collegiate Women’s Water Polo Championship, with six teams earning automatic bids and four others competing for the last two slots in two play-in games. The Championship will be held at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the USC campus from May 11 to May 13.
The ten teams invited to the tournament include seven conference champions and three teams who were selected at large. Automatic qualifiers included winners of the Big West Conference (UC Irvine), Collegiate Water Polo Association (Michigan), Golden Coast Conference (Pacific), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Wagner), Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (Southern California), Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Pomona-Pitzer) and the Western Water Polo Association (UC San Diego). Stanford, Cal and UCLA received the at-large bids. USC is the tournament’s top seed, followed by Stanford, Cal, and UCLA at numbers 2, 3 and 4.
The opening-round games will take place on Tuesday, May 8. UC San Diego (24-11) will take on Wagner (24-6) for the chance to play USC (23-1) in Game 1 of the Championship. UC Irvine (14-13) will play Pomona-Pitzer (21-10) in the other opening-round game, with the winner advancing to face Stanford (18-3) in Game 3.
Rounding out the bracket will be UCLA (22-7) against Pacific (18-7) in Game 2 and Cal (19-5) meeting Michigan (32-8) in Game 4.
Check out the full Championship draw here