Women’s Water Polo Preview

Event: Big West Conference Championships

Records: Aggies 17-12(4-1); TBD

Where: Schaal Aquatics Center

When: 4:15 p.m.

Who to Watch: If defense wins games, then the Aggies can sleep soundly at night knowing they have two solid goalkeepers.

Senior Rachel Tatsuko just earned the Big West Conference Player of the Week for her shut-down performances.

Tatsuko, who splits time with regular starter junior Riane Woods, started against Cal State Northridge and San Jose State. Woods also got the same recognition about a month ago.

Tatsuko helped the Aggies upset No. 8 San Jose State with two steals and 12 saves, that included three stops in 6-on-5 situations.

Did you know? The UC Davis women’s water polo program is currently ranked 11th in the nation. Yet, they are not the top-ranked team in the conference.

UC Irvine holds a perfect 5-0 record in conference and is ranked No. 6 in the country. The Anteaters defeated the Aggies 10-4 earlier this season in Irvine.

Preview:
 It would appear that things are going the Aggies’ way right now.

UC Davis is the second seed entering the Big West Conference Championship, matching its highest ever seeding at the tournament that it last obtained in 2009.

The Aggies have made a late season push that could carry over to the postseason. They have won 12 of their last 13 games and are a serious threat to capture the Big West title, given they will have home-pool advantage.

The regular season finale against San Jose State brought about very encouraging results, as the Aggies took down the No. 8 Spartans by a score of 10-9.

The No. 2 seed earned UC Davis a bye in the first round of the conference tournament, and they will match up against the winner of UC Santa Barbara and Pacific.

The Aggies topped both the Gauchos and the Tigers by one point margins, and by no means will the No. 3 or No. 6 seeds be walkovers.

Still, head coach Jamie Wright believes UC Davis has a good chance to come away with a Big West title.

“I think we have enough pieces in place to do it,” he said, “now we have to go out and do it.”

— MATTHEW YUEN

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