April 26, 1998
STANFORD, Calif. - After defeating No. 14 San Jose State, 13-3, No. 13 UC Santa Barbara, 7-1, falling to No. 2 Stanford, 9-5, and defeating No. 7 Hawaii, 10-6, the No. 3 California Golden Bears women's water polo team (24-5) finished third at the Western Regional National Qualifying Tournament, earning a squad berth for the Collegiate National Championship Tournament at USC, May 8-10.
The Bears first defeated San Jose State, 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 true 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.
On Saturday, Cal began an early 3-2 lead in the first quarter against Stanford and then added one more goal for a 4-2 lead early in the second quarter. Stanford bolted back with four goals in the third quarter and two in the fourth as well as with a strong defensive performance of 11 saves by Stanford goalkeeper Heather Crary to seal the 9-5 victory over the Bears. Cal sisters Alisa and Melanie vonHartitzsch helped the Bears with two goals apiece, and Schueller tallied eight saves in the match.
In the third place match on Sunday, the Bears came out strong against the Rainbows of Hawaii with a 3-1 lead going into the second quarter and a 6-1 lead going into the half. Despite the two goals scored by the Rainbows at the end of the third quarter, the Bears remained on top with a 9-3 lead going into the fourth quarter with the help of goals scored by Cal sophomore Colette Glinkowski and junior Erin Kelley. The Rainbows six-goal deficit closed to four after they scored three goals in the fourth quarter. Hawaii finally fell to the Bears with a score of 10-6, finishing fourth in the tournament. Cal saw strong offensive performances again from the sisters vonHartitzsch, Glinkowski and Irwin, all scoring two goals apiece against the Rainbows. Alisa also totaled a team high of 10 goals in the tournament and 61 goals in the season overall.
The Western Region sends seven teams to compete at the Collegiate National Championship.
San Jose St. 1 2 0 0 -- 3 CAL 5 3 2 3 -- 13