Only ten teams are vying for the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship, and two are from America’s finest city: San Diego State and UC San Diego.
The Aztecs will play Wagner College and the Tritons face Whittier College in play-in-games this Tuesday on UCSD's campus. It's a rare opportunity for two programs in our own backyard and the Tritons aim to make the most of their "home-pool advantage."
UCSD boasts a 26-and-9 record as they go into this next game, yet they remain level headed and focused on making it past Whittier College. Head coach Brad Kreutzkamp is especially confident in this year’s team and how far they’ve come this season. “I feel like we've come back from some really tough losses that I'm not sure we would have before,” says the coach, “We're just talented top to bottom all over on this team. It's one of the best teams I've ever coached.”
San Diego State University is making its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2008 when they face Wagner College in the other play-in game on Tuesday. The road ahead is laced with difficult matchups but the lady Aztecs are peaking at the right time. SDSU Senior Goalkeeper, Rachel Mitchell, has been working towards a championship since she joined the team as a freshman. She’s confident their hard work will pay off saying, “We are very optimistic this team can go the whole way. We have the toughness, mentally and physically and we are just ready to go and battle and you know, fight for this title.”
If the Tritons advance they will travel to UCLA while San Diego State would get a chance to knock off unbeaten University of Southern California.