Some six months removed from the 2014 NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship match, little has changed among the elite teams in women’s college water polo, at least for one weekend. In the championship match of the first ever Collegiate Cup, pitting the top women’s college water polo teams with two USA National Team squads, it was Stanford and UCLA meeting for all the marbles. Reprising their role as champion from this past spring, the Cardinal came through in the NCAA Championship rematch, once again downing the Bruins 9-7 in a back and forth match that witnessed a level of intensity not normally reserved for off-season action. In the third place game, a split-squad USA Women’s National Team got past USC 11-8. For complete tournament results, click here.
In the championship game, the two evenly matched squads kept things close throughout. Stanford lead 3-2 after the first period only to see the Bruins force a tie at 4-4 at halftime. After three periods UCLA went ahead 7-6, but Stanford rallied in the fourth, scoring three unanswered goals in the period to take the match 9-7. Kiley Neushul led a balanced Cardinal attack with three goals all in the first half while Ashley Grossman, Maggie Steffens, and Jordan Raney delivered the decisive goals in the fourth period. Gabby Stone went the distance in net for Stanford while Sam Hill patrolled the cage all four quarters for UCLA. Devin Grab powered UCLA on offense with two goals in a balanced effort with six different scorers.
Stanford finished the tournament undefeated, topping Indiana 25-4, USA Blue 13-6, USC 9-8, and then UCLA 9-7. They fell to a full strength USA National Team 10-9 in overtime in an exhibition match on Saturday evening. UCLA went 3-1 on the weekend downing Cal-State Northridge 15-3, San Jose State 13-7, USA Red 10-9, and then fell to Stanford 9-7. UCLA also lost to the USA National Team 13-8 in an exhibition match.
USA Red jumped out to a strong start in the third place game posting a 3-1 lead after eight minutes. USC battled back in the second, drawing to within 5-4 with five minutes to go in the period but USA Red would hold a 7-5 lead at halftime. Roughly ninety seconds into the fourth period, USC came all the way back to tie the game at 8-8 on a goal from Sydney Blubaugh. USA Red took it from there, outscoring USC 3-0 the rest of the way to take the game 11-8. Coriann Snyder, Paige Hauschild, and Cana Manzella found the net in the fourth to secure the victory. Snyder led USA Red with three goals with Ashleigh Johnson going the distance in net. Blubaugh and Eike Daube scored two goals each to lead the Trojans with Victoria Chamorro playing the whole way in net.
In the rest of the Collegiate Cup action, Cal defeated UC-Irvine 11-3 for fifth place while USA Blue topped San Jose State 15-7 for 7th place. Michigan edged Cal State Northridge 13-10 while Indiana slipped past Long Beach State 11-10 to round out the day’s action.
Stanford 9 UCLA 7
Stanford 9 (3, 1, 2, 3) Kiley Neushul 3, Ashley Grossman 2, Gurpreet Sohi 1, Jordan Raney 1, Shannon Cleary 1, Maggie Steffens 1
UCLA 7 (2, 2, 3, 0) Devin Grab 2, Rachel Fattal 1, Kodianne Hill 1, India Forster 1, Alexis Angermund 1, Aubrie Monahan 1
USA Red 11 USC 8
USA Red 11 (3, 4, 1, 3) Coriann Snyder 3, Rachel Whitelegge 2, Paige Hauschild 2, KK Clark 1, Kami Craig 1
USC 8 (1, 4, 2, 1) Eike Daube 2, Sydney Blubaugh 2, Stephanie Haralabidis 1, Monica Vavic 1, Hayley McKelvey 1, Melissa Bergesen 1
Water Polo News courtesy of USA Water Polo.