The University of California San Diego women’s water polo team climbed back to the apex of the Western Water Polo Association on Sunday, winning the WWPA Championship with a victory over Fresno Pacific in the tournament final, 15-4, at the SPIRE Institute, a sports complex in Ashtabula County, Ohio.
UC San Diego (21-13) has now won the WWPA Championship for the seventh-consecutive season and eighth time overall, and will make its seventh-straight appearance in the National Collegiate Water Polo Championships. The Tritons will learn their NCAA fate during Monday evening’s NCAA Selection Show beginning at 5 p.m. local time.
Playing its final season in the conference, the Tritons have now won 17 WWPA tournament games in a row and 45th-consecutive WWPA contests overall.
Junior goalkeeper Reilly Gallagher finished with 11 saves and three steals en route to being named WWPA Championship MVP. Sophomore Ciara Franke recorded three goals with four steals on Sunday, while sophomore Taylor Onstott and senior Shelby Stender also had three scores.
Sophomore Tera Richardson had two goals with two assists. Senior Chanel Schilling and sophomore Grace Pevehouse scored one goal apiece, and joined Gallagher on the WWPA All-Tournament First Team.
Onstott was named to the WWPA All-Tournament Second Team.
Savannah Mangrum scored three goals to lead Fresno Pacific (10-20).
Sunday’s game was close early on after consecutive goals by Mangrum tied the score midway through the first quarter, 2-2. However, the Tritons scored the game’s next 11 goals. Onstott’s score off an assist from senior Riley Heiduk capped off scoring surge, extending the lead to 13-2 with 4:17 left to play.
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