GW Women's Water Polo Set for Southern Division Championship
No. 5 Colonials Will Face No. 1 Princeton, No. 4 Harvard in Saturday Bracket Play
April 10, 2014
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's water polo team travels to Cambridge, Mass., this weekend for the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Championship. The two-day event will take place on April 12-13 at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.
GW (11-13, 2-3 Southern) tied with Harvard for fourth place in the Southern Division and earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament due to the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Crimson, who defeated the Colonials, 10-8, on March 29. GW will play in Bracket A, which also includes top-seeded Princeton and fourth-seeded Harvard. Bracket B features No. 2 Bucknell, No. 3 Brown and No. 6 Mercyhurst.
The Colonials will take on the 10th-ranked Tigers (26-1, 5-0 Southern) on Saturday at 10 a.m. before facing the host Crimson (13-16, 2-3 Southern) at 2:30 p.m. Following Saturday's bracket play, each team will play one game on Sunday against the corresponding team in the opposite bracket to determine placing.
The top three teams from both the Southern and Western Division Championships earn automatic berths to the eight-team CWPA Championship on April 25-27 at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium. The Division III champion also earns an automatic bid to the tournament, which determines the league's representative at the NCAA Championship, while the final spot in the field belongs to an at-large team.
The Colonials placed fourth at the 2013 Southern Division Championship, defeating Bucknell and falling to Princeton in bracket play before dropping the third-place game to Harvard, 15-11.
GW is coming off a 2-1 weekend against Southern Division rivals, defeating Mercyhurst, 13-5, and Bucknell, 8-7, before falling to Princeton, 16-6. Senior Rachael Bentley was named Southern Division Player of the Week for her performance, as she tallied a team-high 16 points on nine goals and seven assists and scored the game-winner at the buzzer against the Bison after tying the game less than a minute earlier.
Bentley leads the Colonials with 45 assists and 87 points on the year. Already GW's all-time leader in assists (186) and points (359), Bentley became GW's all-time leading scorer with 173 goals on Saturday.
Senior Megan Brolley paces GW with 45 goals and 35 ejections drawn this season, and she ranks second on the team in assists (32), points (77) and steals (41).
Sophomore Hannah Cox (43) and senior Katherine Berry (42) have also surpassed the 40-goal plateau. GW's all-time leader in field blocks with 51, Berry broke her own school record with 16 this season, and she ranks third on the team with 62 points and 36 steals. In addition, senior Allison Littlejohn leads the Colonials with 46 steals and is fourth on the team with a career-high 52 points.
Two-time defending Southern and Eastern champion Princeton has won 11 in a row dating to a 10-6 loss to No. 10 San Jose State on March 15. Katie Rigler, the 2013 Southern Division Player of the Year, leads the Tigers with 56 goals, while Molly McBee has 38 goals and a team-high 29 assists and 33 steals. Goalie Ashleigh Johnson, the 2013 Southern Division Rookie of the Year, has made 293 saves this season, posting a .703 save percentage.
Berry led GW with three goals in the Colonials' 16-6 loss to the Tigers last Sunday.
Harvard is coming off a 1-2 weekend against Southern Division opponents Bucknell, Princeton and Mercyhurst, and the win over the Lakers in the regular-season finale snapped a three-game skid. Yoshi Anderson leads the Crimson with 65 goals and 31 assists on the season, while Shayna Price has tallied 38 goals, 21 assists and 30 steals. Goalkeeper Ariel Dukes has recorded 185 saves in the cage.
GW seniors combined to score all eight goals in a 10-8 loss to Harvard on March 29 at the Charles E. Smith Center Pool. Brolley led the Colonials with three goals and an assist, while Anderson scored six goals to pace the Crimson.
All games at this weekend's Southern Division Championship will be streamed live by the Ivy League Digital Network at a cost of $9.95 per day or $10.95 for the weekend by purchasing a Harvard monthly pass. Subscribers to the network will be able to watch matches both live and on-demand.
2014 CWPA Southern Division Championship
Saturday April 12
Sunday, April 13