STANFORD, Calif. - After defeating No. 14 San Jose State, 13-3, and No. 13 UC Santa Barbara, 7-1, the No. 3 California Golden Bear women's water polo team (23-4) advanced to the semifinals of the Western Regional National Qualifying Tournament, ensuring a squad berth for the National Collegiate Championships, May 8-10 at USC.
The Bears first defeated San Jose St., 13-3, early Friday morning. Cal overcame a sluggish start after a three goal flurry led by senior Alisa vonHartitzsch, who scored two of her four goals in the final 1:30 of the first quarter. The Bears continued to dominate the Spartans, outscoring them, 8-2, in the remaining three quarters of the match. During the match, seven different Cal players found the back of the net for the Cal victory.
The Bears next defeated the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, 7-1, 3 p.m. that afternoon. After a defensive battle for much of the first half, Cal senior driver Karie Gray broke a 1-1 tie with 2:04 left in the second quarter. Cal then took the second half, scoring an additional five goals with the help of freshman Beth Irwin, who scored a match-high three goals. Cal junior goalkeeper Evi Schueller also held off the Gauchos with a strong defensive performance of 11 saves.
The Bears will next face Stanford, Saturday at 3:40 p.m. to determine which team will advance to the championship game.
San Jose St. 1 2 0 0 -- 3 CAL 5 3 2 3 -- 13