USC Earns No. 2 Seed Into NCAA Championships
May 3, 2010
The USC women's water polo team is bound for its seventh straight NCAA Championship appearance with the No. 2 seed in-hand for the 2010 action. Owners of two national titles, the Women of Troy last won the NCAA crown in 2004. This year, USC holds a 22-3 overall record as it sets up for the latest push to a national championship. The 2010 NCAA Championships will be held May 14-16 at San Diego State's Aztec Aquaplex.
The NCAA bracket for the 2010 postseason was released today at ncaa.com. No. 2 seed USC is one of eight teams lined up for postseason play in San Diego. The Trojans earned an at-large berth this season after taking second at the MPSF Championships last weekend. Receiving automatic bids into the 2010 tournament are five teams that clinched their NCAA tickets by winning conference championships. Defending NCAA champion and No. 3 seeded UCLA (20-7) is the MPSF's automatic qualifier along with four other conference champions: No. 5 seed Michigan (32-6, Collegiate Water Polo Association), No. 6 seed Loyola Marymount (27-4, Western Water Polo Association), No. 7 seed Marist (18-15, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and No. 8 seed Pomona-Pitzer (18-14, Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). The rest of the field is comprised of at-large MPSF teams, with the No. 2 seeded Trojans (22-3) joined by No. 1 seed Stanford (24-2) and California (24-8) at No. 4.
USC will open its 2010 NCAA campaign with a matchup against No. 7 seed Marist at 12:30 p.m. on Friday (May 14) in San Diego. A win there would put the Trojans up against the winner of that afternoon's game between No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 Loyola Marymount. That semifinal will be held Saturday (May 15) at 5:45 p.m., and the NCAA Championship game is set for 5 p.m. on Sunday (May 16) following a 3:15 p.m. third-place match.
USC has won two national championships in program history, with the first coming in 1999 before the NCAA sponsored women's water polo. In 2004, the Trojans posted the first-ever undefeated season on the way to capturing the 2004 NCAA title. USC has since finished third in 2005 and 2007 and placed second in 2006, 2008 and 2009. This year marks USC's seventh consecutive NCAA appearance and seventh overall, as the Trojans hold a 12-5 all-time record in NCAA tournament play.
This year, USC has posted a powerful season to date in accumulating a 22-3 overall record. The Trojans' only losses this year were to top-seeded Stanford and to defending NCAA champion UCLA, but USC also boasts wins over both teams this season, making the coming NCAA competition a true battleground to determine the 2010 champion. This season, USC has gone undefeated at neutral sites, with the Trojans' only losses coming in two defeats at Stanford and one at UCLA's home pool.