Michigan Draws Defending National Champion UCLA in NCAA Opening Round
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The NCAA Women's Water Polo Committee announced Monday (April 27) that the University of Michigan water polo team has earned the No. 6 seed for the 2009 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship. The Wolverines will lock up with No. 3 seed UCLA in the opening round at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, May 8. Maryland will play host to the championship that runs May 8-10 in the Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium.
Michigan, ranked 12th nationally, earned a return trip to the NCAA Championship with an automatic bid following a successful title defense at the CWPA Eastern Championship (April 24-26). U-M's first opponent, No. 2-ranked UCLA, earned an at-large bid with a 22-6 overall record and a third-place finish at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship. The Bruins have won the previous four national titles under the direction of Adam Krikorian, who will take the reins of the U.S. National Team following the conclusion of the tournament.
The Wolverines have earned three previous bids to the NCAA Championship, placing fourth in 2002 and finishing sixth in 2005 and 2008. Head coach Matt Anderson, who clinched the 200th win of his collegiate coaching career on Saturday (April 25), is coaching his third Maize and Blue squad in the championship. Michigan became the first Eastern school to win a match at the NCAA Championship at the 2005 tournament and is 2-6 all-time at the championship. The Wolverines are perfect in 11 games in the pool at the Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium.
No. 2 seed Stanford and No. 7 seed Marist will kick off the first game of the championship at 1:30 p.m. Michigan and UCLA will follow, before No. 1 seed Southern Cal takes on No. 8 seed Cal Lutheran in the third game of the day at 5 p.m. The final contest of the night will pit No. 5 seed Loyola Marymount against No. 4 seed Hawaii at 6:45 p.m.
2009 NCAA Championship Seeding
No. 1 -- Southern Cal (24-1 Overall, 1st MPSF)
No. 2 -- Stanford (24-3 Overall, At-Large)
No. 3 -- UCLA (22-6 Overall, At-Large)
No. 4 -- Hawaii (18-8 Overall, At-Large)
No. 5 -- Loyola Marymount (24-7 Overall, 1st WWPA)
No. 6 -- MICHIGAN (33-8 Overall, 1st CWPA)
No. 7 -- Marist (28-3 Overall, 1st MAAC)
No. 8 -- Cal Lutheran (19-12 Overall, 1st SCIAC)
NCAA First-Round Schedule (Friday, May
Game 1 -- No. 2 seed Stanford vs. No. 7 seed Marist -- 1:30 p.m.
Game 2 -- No. 3 seed UCLA vs. No. 6 seed MICHIGAN -- 3:15 p.m.
Game 3 -- No. 1 seed Southern Cal vs. No. 8 seed Cal Lutheran -- 5 p.m.
Game 4 -- No. 4 seed Hawaii vs. No. 5 seed Loyola Marymount -- 6:45 p.m.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the championship draw... "The seeding to me is irrelevant. I told the girls before Easterns that it doesn't matter what seed you are, you don't win the tournament based on your seed -- you've got to play the games. We are glad to be there, we feel that we can compete with anybody, and if we are fortunate enough to win one, two or three games, we are going to compete hard regardless. No matter who we are playing, we still have to play to the best of our ability whether that's UCLA, Stanford or whomever -- we have to show up to play. I am looking forward to it."
On first round opponent UCLA ... "They are the four-time defending national champions and their outstanding coach, Adam Krikorian, is also our new women's Olympic coach. I think UCLA is going to be ready to play. We just have to show up and do what we do. That is what it comes down to. At this point, for any team in the tournament, you have to show up and put everything together in order to win. Whether you are the favorite or not, you just have to hope that you are clicking on all cylinders."
Release courtesy Michigan Athletic Communications