IRVINE, Calif. – The No. 4 Cal women’s water polo team will get the test it wanted.
The Bears advanced to the semifinals of the UC Irvine Tournament on Saturday with wins over No. 16 UC Santa Barbara and No. 5 UC Irvine. That sets up a showdown with No. 1 USC on Sunday morning at the Anteater Aquatics Complex.
Cal (13-1) has played only one team ranked ahead of it this season, and that ended as a 10-9 overtime loss to No. 3 UCLA at the Stanford Invitational. This will be the Bears’ second chance this season to move their way up in the national rankings.
The Bears’ day got started Saturday morning with a 10-4 win over the Gauchos, as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second quarter and cruised to the victory. Nine different Cal players scored, with freshman Stephanie Mutafyan registering two goals. It was Cal’s second win over UC Santa Barbara this season.
The Bears beat the Anteaters for the second time this season as well, and this time it was by the same score, 12-6. Dora Antal, Victoria Williams and Kelly McKee each scored twice, as Cal outscored UC Irvine 6-1 in the second and third quarters to take command.
Cal and USC will face off at 10:30 a.m. The winner will meet the winner of the Stanford-UCLA match in the tournament’s other semifinal game in the championship match at 5:15 p.m. The losers of the two games will meet in the Third Place Game at 4 p.m.
No. 4 Cal 10, No. 16 UC Santa Barbara 4
UCSB 0 1 2 1 – 4
Cal 3 3 3 1 – 10
UC Santa Barbara Goals: Carly Christian, Samantha Murphy, Miranda Schrader, Brenna Thomas
UC Santa Barbara Saves: Mackenzie Brokaw 5.
No. 4 Cal 12, No. 5 UC Irvine 6
Cal 2 3 3 4 – 12
UCI 2 0 1 3 – 6
UC Irvine Goals: Danielle Warde 2, Cambria Shockley 2, Mackenzie Milham, Hanna Lancaster
Cal Saves: Madeline Trabucco 5.
UC Irvine Saves: Jillian Yocum 8.