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No. 2 University of Michigan-vs.-No. 4 University of California-Santa Barbara Scoresheet (2023 Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship – Game #28/First Place)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Tournament Most Valuable Player Claire Tuttle scored four times – including a pair of penalty shots and a man-up opportunity – and Mia Barr also added a quartet as Big Ten Division Champion/No. 2-ranked the University of Michigan cashed in on six-of-seven advantage opportunities (man-up/penalty shot) to top Pacific Coast Division Champion/No. 4 the University of California-Santa Barbara, 8-6, in the 2023 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship title game.

Competing at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Spieker Aquatics Center, the Wolverines make history as the Maize & Blue join the University of Florida (2019) as the lone non-California based institutions to claim the Women’s National Collegiate Club crown since fellow Big Ten Division institution Michigan State University in 2006.  It marks Michigan’s first National Championship in the sport of water polo (varsity and/or club) as the Wolverines previously fell in the 2010 (6-5 L vs. California Polytechnic State University at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.), 2014 (10-9 L OT SD vs. San Diego State University at The Ohio State University/SPIRE Instiute, Geneva, Ohio) and 2016 (13-7 L vs. UC-Santa Barbara at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.).

Historically, Michigan had placed second (2010, 2014, 2016), third (2007, 2011, 2015), fourth (2012, 2013, 2022) and seventh (2009) in their other trips to Nationals prior to 2023 to stand near – but not on top – of the women’s collegiate club water polo scene.

However, the 2023 season proved to be magical to the Wolverines a four games from both Tuttle and Barr combined with 10 saves by Player of the Game/goalkeeper Ava Dominick proved the Beasts of the East two better than the Best of the West.

Michigan never trailed in the game as Barr cashed in on a man-up chance with 5:39 left in the first quarter to break the ice and start the Wolverines down the path to capturing the institution’s first National Championship in women’s water polo – and fourth overall institutionally as the men’s team won in 1996 (vs. University of Arizona), 1998 (vs. Pennsylvania State University) and 2003 (vs, California Polytechnic State University).

Ally Temple pulled the Gauchos even prior to the close of the opening frame as she torqued home a tally with 1:36 on the clock to make it one-all after seven minutes of competition.

The game turned exclusively in the Wolverines’ favor during the first two minutes of the second quarter as Barr (6:37) put away her second of the game to again push Michigan ahead at 2-1.  Tuttle then turned the tides exclusively in favor of her squad by unleashing some Ann Arbor magic by pumping in penalty shots at 5:55 and 4:58 to surround a natural marker (5:24) in providing Michigan a 5-1 lead with approximately five minutes remaining in the first half.

Morgan Lewis erased some of Tuttle’s scoring turmoil by beating Dominick with man-up (4:42) and even-strength (3:19) strikes to shrink UC-Santa Barbara’s deficit to 5-3 going into halftime.

The drama of the game escalated further as neither team was able to put a shot away during the third quarter.

Tuttle and Barr provided some insurance in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter as the duo deposited man-up dimes at 5:45 and 5:07, respectively, to make it a 7-3 game.

Thea Neushul cut a goal off the Gauchos’ deficit at 3:44, but Barr answered with another man-up goal at 2:27 to enlarge the gap between the programs to four goals at 8-4 with the clock winding down on UC-Santa Barbara’s comeback hopes.

Lewis tried to lead UC-Santa Barbara back as she spun in man-up (2:02) and penalty shot (1:05) shots to inch the Gauchos within a pair at 8-6.  However, Dominick and the Michigan defense kept their foes in check the rest of the way to bring the women’s big plaque to the Great Lake State for the first time since titles by Michigan State in 2001, 2002 and 2006 titles.

UC-Santa Barbara – which also fell to the University of California by an 8-3 score at the Huntsville Aquatic Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the 2022 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship title – adds another runner-up finish to its legacy as the team previously finished tied for 13th (2013), fifth (2015), first (2016) and second (2022) in its four prior trips to Nationals.

Lewis (four), Neushul and Temple all scored for the Gauchos in the title game.  Goalkeeping tandem Taylor Tait (three saves, one goal allowed) and Jordan Sibley (one save, seven goals allowed) posted a combined four saves for UC-Santa Barbara.

Following the conclusion of the title game, the 2023 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship All-Tournament Team was announced:

2023 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player: Claire Tuttle (University of Michigan)
Coach of the Tournament: Heather Borek-Klempfner (University of California-Santa Barbara
First Team
Ava Dominick (Goalie) University of Michigan
Claire Tuttle University of Michigan
Mia Barr University of Michigan
Shannon Connolly Texas A&M University
Kylie Walker University of California
Morgan Lewis University of California-San Diego
Thea Neushul University of California-Santa Barbara
Second Team
Olivia Sanders (Goalie) University of Notre Dame
Fiona Watkins Arizona State University
Khloe Riordan Florida State University
Jordan Naughton University of California
Meena Khan University of California-Los Angeles
Giselle Lewis University of California-Santa Barbara
Abigail Sylvester University of Washington



1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q FINAL
No. 4 University of California-Santa Barbara
1 2 0 3 6
No. 2 University of Michigan 1 4 0 3 8
Michigan Goals: Mia Barr (4); Claire Tuttle (4)
UCSB Goals: Morgan Lewis (4); Ally Temple; Thea Neushul
Saves: Michigan – Ava Dominick (10) ; UCSB – Taylor Tait (3, 14 minutes), Jordan Sibley (1, 14 minutes)
Exclusions: Michigan – 11 ; UCSB – 7
Advantage Opportunities: Michigan – 6-for-7 ; UCSB – 3-for-11
Sprints: Michigan – 4-for-4 ; UCSB – 0-for-4
Cards/Misconducts: Michigan – None ; UCSB – None
Officials: Bruce Morehouse, Brandon Skiba


The University of California-Santa Barbara’s Morgan Lewis (#7) rises to shoot over the University of Michigan’s Mia Barr (#22)

The University of Michigan’s Zannah Baker (#4) defends the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Emmy Donnell (#13)

The University of Michigan’s Mia Barr (#22) attempts to get off a pass as the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Codi Ortiz (#5) pursues

The University of Michigan’s Claire Tuttle (#9) shoots on University of California-Santa Barbara goalkeeper Jordan Sibley (#1A) with Emmy Donnell (#13), Ally Temple (#10) and Angie Calzada (#9) in pursuit

The University of Michigan’s Mia Barr (#22) fires in a shot against the University of California-Santa Barbara

2023 Women’s National Collegiate Club Championship Runner-Up – University of California-Santa Barbara

2023 Women’s National Collegiate Club Champion – The University of Michigan

Collegiate Water Polo Association