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UCLA, USC may meet in MPSF women’s water polo tournament semifinal

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It looks like there is a very strong possibility that the UCLA and USC women’s water polo teams will face each other Saturday in the semi-finals of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament hosted by top-ranked Stanford.

UCLA (18-3), the tournament’s second seed, scored a 9-5 win against No. 7 San Diego State (21-9) today at the Avery Aquatic Center. The Bruins will take on the winner of today’s 2:30 matchup between third-seeded USC (19-4) and No. 6 San Jose State (18-11) in a semifinal match tomorrow at 4 p.m.

UCLA is going for its third consecutive trip to the MPSF Tournament championship match. The Bruins are led by senior KK Clark who has 47 goals, 36 steals, and 17 assists this season. Sophomore Becca Dorst has 22 goals on the season. Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Dement has made 193 saves this season and holds a 5.25 goals against average.

USC, the 2010 national champs, will rely on top scorers sophomore Kaleigh Gilchrist (42 goals) and freshman Monica Vavic (30 goals) to get past San Jose State. Minding the cage for the Trojans is sophomore Flora Bolonyai, with 148 saves this season and a 5.5 goals against average.

The Bruins and Trojans tied for second place in the MPSF, but UCLA earned the tournament’s second seed with a head-to-head tiebreak 6-5 win against USC on March 3.

The championship match will be played on Sunday, April 29, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the eight-team NCAA Tournament (May 11-13). The semifinals and final matches can be viewed for free on www.gostanford.com/allaccess/

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