No. 2 Women's Water Polo Open Season
February 9, 1999
Fri.-Sun. Feb. 12-14
at UC San Diego Arena Invitational
Canyonview Pool, La Jolla, CA
NOTING THE BEARS: The No. 2 ranked California women's water polo team, led by head coach Peter Asch, will open the 1999 season at the UC San Diego Arena Invitational. Cal fell to No. 1 ranked UCLA, 7-3, in the championship match of the 1998 Women's Water Polo National Collegiate Championships May 10 at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium. It was the third year in a row the Bears have fallen to the Bruins in the national title match. In three years as a varsity sport, Cal women's water polo team has a record of 89-20 (.817). The Bears were 27-6 overall and 11-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation last season.
HEAD COACH PETER ASCH: One of the greatest players in American water polo history, Peter Asch, was named head coach of California's women's water polo team last August. Asch, who earned All-America honors in water polo at Cal three straight years from 1967-69, later won a bronze medal as part of the U.S. Olympic team in 1972 and was inducted into the Cal Hall of Fame in 1997. Asch served as Cal's interim head coach during the collegiate national tournament last April, when former coach Maureen O'Toole had left the team for personal reasons. He helped the Bears finish second nationally behind UCLA, including an upset of second-ranked Stanford in the national semifinals.
THE 1999 OUTLOOK: The Bears will be led by veterans Erin Kelley (Oak Park, IL), Melanie vonHartitzsch (Tulsa, OK), Evi Schueller (Mountain View, CA), Heather Petri (Orinda, CA) and Colette Glinkowski (Danville, CA). Kelley and vonHartitzsch are 1999 team captains and have been starters the past three seasons. Schueller has been Cal's starting goalie the past three years and was an honorable mention All-American last season. She currently has 596 saves in her career. Petri helped to Cal summer club team to the national title when she knocked in the match-winning goal with 2:48 in sudden death overtime. Last season, she was honorable mention All-American, a 1998 National Championship second team selection and MPSF Honorable Mention. Glinkowski was the team's second leading scorer in '98 with 46 goals and has already tallied 90 goals in her career. Last season, she was a National Championship second team selection, MPSF second team and MPSF All-Tournament Honorable Mention. Freshman Beth Irwin (Menlo Park, CA) was fourth on the team with 23 goals and had eight goals during the four matches at the National Qualifying Tournament at Stanford.
NOTING THE UC SAN DIEGO INVITATIONAL: The UC San Diego Arena Invitational will feature 12 of the top women's water polo teams in the nation. The top seeded teams in the tournament include No. 1 ranked UCLA, No. 2 Cal, No. 3 Stanford and No. 5 Hawaii-all from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The tournament is divided into four brackets. The A Bracket consists of UCLA, UC Davis and UC San Diego. The B Bracket consists of Cal, San Diego State and Indiana. C Bracket consists of Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and San Jose State. The D Bracket consists of Hawaii, USC and Long Beach State. The Bears will face Indiana at 6:20 p.m. Feb. 12, and then take on San Diego State at 10:20 a.m. Feb. 13. If wins both of its opening round matches, it will play the second place finisher in the C Bracket at 4:10 p.m. Feb. 13 to advance to the semifinals. The semifinals will be at 10:30 a.m. and the finals at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14. Last year, Cal lost to UCLA, 11-4, in the championship match of the San Diego Invitational.