Top-ranked UCLA is the team to watch this weekend at the NCAA women's water polo championships, and not only because the Bruins are the two-time defending champions.
Should UCLA win, it would give the school its 100th national title. The Bruins have won a nation-leading 99 titles in 15 sports and the race to 100 has been going since the women's water polo team won last year's national title, but even though five other Bruins teams have come close in the past six months, the school remains stuck on that number.
The water polo team surely would like the bragging rights with such a milestone, but they are more focused on the number 1 than 100.
"For this team and this group of girls it would be championship number one," Coach Adam Krikorian said. "That's what we're focused on. We hear a lot of people talking about and asking about the 100, but we have enough to worry about with our opponents in this tournament."
Specifically, the Bruins (25-2) are looking at a potential semifinal matchup with No. 3 USC and, should they survive that, a championship game against No. 2 Stanford. UCLA and USC (20-5) have played three times this season and UCLA won each game by a goal.
Stanford (25-2) won two of three games against UCLA this season and was the only team to defeat the Bruins. UCLA won the last meeting, however, a 9-3 victory in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship game.
UCLA has won four of the six national titles since the NCAA recognized the sport in 2001.
* Where: Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos.
* When: Quarterfinals: UCLA vs. Pomona-Pitzer, 1 p.m.; USC vs. Hartwick, 3:15 p.m.; Stanford vs. Wagner, 5 p.m.; San Diego State vs. Loyola Marymount, 6:45 p.m.