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Southland schools continue their quest for NCAA titles

November 30, 2007|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Ten teams representing seven Southland schools are making a run for NCAA Division I national titles in men's soccer, women's soccer, women's volleyball and men's water polo.

Here's a look at the who, what, when and where of each:

Top-ranked UCLA (19-1-2) and No. 9 USC (17-3-2) are both playing national quarterfinal games today with a possible final four matchup against one another looming.

Women's soccer

The Bruins, seeded No. 1 in their bracket, will play host to No. 2 Portland (18-3). USC, seeded No. 2, will play at No. 4 West Virginia (18-4-2).

The winners will meet Dec. 7 in the College Cup semifinals at College Station, Texas.

The Bruins, who lost in the semifinals last year, are one victory away from their fifth consecutive final four appearance. Only North Carolina (1982-2003) and Massachusetts (1983-87) have done that before.

USC has already set a school record for victories and has advanced past the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time.

Men's soccer

Defending national champion UC Santa Barbara (13-3-4) has advanced to the Sweet 16 and will play Sunday at Ohio State (14-3-5).

The Gauchos, seeded 12th, are led by Andy Iro, who was named Big West defender of the year for a third straight season.

Women's volleyball

No. 5 USC, No. 8 UCLA, No. 16 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Long Beach State and Pepperdine all begin play today in the 64-team NCAA tournament.

USC (25-4) plays Pepperdine (18-10) at the Galen Center; UCLA (20-10) plays Alabama A&M (15-9) at Clemson; Cal Poly (21-7) will play Xavier (24-10) at Ohio University; and Long Beach State (25-6) plays UNLV (24-5), also at the Galen Center.

USC is making its 17th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

UCLA is making its 26th NCAA tournament appearance but hasn't won the title since 1991.

Men's water polo

Top-seeded USC (18-2) meets No. 4 Loyola Marymount (13-15) in a semifinal Saturday at Stanford.

The Trojans, seeking their fourth national title, are 12-0 all time against the Lions, who are making their fifth appearance in the NCAA semifinals. They have finished third in each of the previous four appearances.

No. 2 California, the defending champion, plays No. 3 Navy in the other semifinal and the winners meet Sunday in the championship game.

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