March 5, 2010
Northridge, Calif. - The nationally-ranked Cal State Northridge (11-4) women's water polo team continues tournament play with competition this weekend (Mar. 6-7) at the Cal Lutheran Invitational in Thousand Oaks.
The tournament covers a three-day period (Mar. 5-7) but the Matadors will play only on Saturday and Sunday. For complete results on the tournament, go to http://www.clusports.com/pages/tournaments/2010WWPCLUSpringClassic.php
The tenth-ranked Matadors open play on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. against sixth-ranked Arizona State at the Cal Lutheran pool. This is the second straight week the Matadors will face the nationally-ranked Sun Devils from the Pac-10 Conference.
During first day action (Feb. 27) at the UC Irvine Invitational, the then ninth-ranked Matadors dropped a 14-4 decision to the then-ranked eighth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. Since last week, CSUN has dropped from ninth to tenth in the national polls while ASU has jumped from eighth to sixth.
Although the task will be difficult, the chance to play a major college water polo school like Arizona State from an elite conference (Pac-10) will be beneficial to the Matadors as they gear up for Big West competition later in the year. The Pac-10 Conference has five teams ranked in the national Top 10 including top-ranked USC, second-ranked Stanford, third-ranked UCLA, fourth-ranked California and sixth-ranked Arizona State.
Following the 8:30 a.m. against Arizona State, Cal State Northridge will play Cal Lutheran at 12:15 p.m. at their CLU pool. The day finally concludes with the Matadors playing Pomona Pitzer College at 4:00 p.m. at nearby Oaks Christian High School.
On Sunday, March 7, Cal State Northridge will have two more games to conclude weekend play. Cal State Northridge plays Villanova at 11:00 a.m. at OCHS. At 5:15 p.m., the Matadors will face Penn State Behrend at Cal Lutheran.
This week's rankings find the Matadors tenth nationally in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll ... USC has moved ahead of Stanford into the nation's top spot followed by UCLA, California, Hawai'i, Arizona State, San Jose State, Michigan, Loyola Marymount and Cal State Northridge ... Other Big West schools ranked are UC Santa Barbara (12th), UC Irvine (13th), UC Davis (15th) and Pacific (16th).
The word is getting out that Cal State Northridge has a good team this year ... The NCAA is sending a camera crew for an extensive feature story on the Matadors next week ... The Northridge story will be on "NCAA On Campus", a monthly show aired every Monday night at 5:30 p.m. (pt) on CBS College Sports ... The Northridge story will also center on the career of senior goalkeeper Jillian Stapf ... Stapf hails from Hudsonville, Michigan, and was not recruited out of high school ... While in high school, Stapf wrote every major water polo program in California to have the opportunity to play water polo ... Only one school returned her letter - Cal State Northridge ... Stapf has turned into arguably the best collegiate goalkeeper in the country, and no doubt fits into future plans as a possible member of the United States National Team ... Stapf currently has 129 saves to give her a school record 1,160 saves in 3-plus seasons at Cal State Northridge.
Whitney Delgado's statistics are looking good ... Just a sophomore, Delgado not only leads the team in scoring (27 goals) but is second in assists (19) and fourth in steals (14) ... Delgado has scored at least one goal in 14 of the team's 15 games ... Delgado scored season-high three goals in five games ... Delgado, who was voted CSUN Rookie of the Year last season, scored 35 goals as a freshman in 2009 to give her 62 carer goals ... Not bad for just a sophomore.
Four members of this year's water polo team are ranked among the career school scoring leaders ... Kirra Kylander has 79 career goals (#8), Sydney Sonoda has 73 career goals (#9), Chelsea Curran has 69 career goals (#10) and Whitney Delgado has 62 career goals (#11).
For the third straight week, Cal State Northridge is the highest ranked Big West school in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll ... CSUN is ranked tenth ... The Matadors were ranked 12th in the pre-season, and previous to this week, were ranked ninth for two weeks, a school best.