WESTWOOD, Feb. 7. UCLA's NCAA Champion Bruins opened defense of their collegiate water polo title from last season with a 16-4 thumping of U Cal Irvine this afternoon at their home Sunset Canyon Recreation Center Pool.
Taking a 6-0 lead after one quarter, the Bruins pulled their starting goalie, junior Jamie Hipp, after halftime with a commanding 11-1 lead. Reserve Christina Smith played the balance of the game in the cage.
Junior defender Robin Beauregard led the Bruins with four goals as 10 different UCLA players either scored or notched assists against the Anteaters.
"We've been practicing for about four and-a-half weeks without a game so it was good to get a game under our belts. I think the girls were just a little tired of beating each other up and wanted someone else to get it," said Bruin coach Adam Krikorian, who guided the Bruin men's polo team to a No. 2 NCAA finish behind Stanford last fall after winning the Championship the previous two years.
Among the Bruin scorers was freshman playmaker Amber Stachowski, older sister of Rancho Santa Margarita star Aimee, who helped lead her team to the SoCal Invitational last weekend at Heritage Park Pool in Irvine — and tne No. 1 national prep ranking.
UCLA will get a better indication of how it may fare in defense ot its national crown this weekend in Palo Alto, when the Bruins play in the Stanford Invitational Tournament, featuring the Cardinal, Cal and USC.
UCLA defeated Stanford in last season's NCAA Championship match at the Cardinal's Avery Aquatic Center, and Stanford has been eagerly awaiting a
rematch ever since.
The NCAA Championships will be held in Los Angeles at USC's McDonald's Olympic Pool the first weekend of May.
— Bill Bell