INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — No. 10-ranked the University of Michigan water polo team officially heard its name called for the National Collegaite Athletic Association Championship Tournament during the NCAA selection show after earning an automatic bid by winning the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship with an 11-8 defeat of fellow No. 10 Princeton University at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium on Sunday, April 29.
The NCAA matched the 10th-ranked Wolverines with the No. 3 seed/No. 3 University of California Golden Bears in the quarterfinal round, which will be played Friday, May 11 (time TBA) on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, Calif. The two teams faced off against each other once this season, an 11-10 Cal win on February 3 at the Stanford Invitational hosted by Stanford University.
The Wolverines have a nation-best 32 wins (32-8) and will make their eighth NCAA appearance. U-M has a 6-12 record in its NCAA history, finishing as high as fourth at the 2002 and 2016 championships. The Wolverines most recently lost to then No. 3 seed USC in the first round last year after making the NCAA semifinals in 2016.
Michigan is coming off its third consecutive CWPA championship. Junior Julia Sellers was named tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) and was joined by sophomore Maddy Steere on the all-tournament first team. The two were also All-CWPA first team selections and are the team’s top two goal scorers in 2018.
Automatic qualifiers were awarded to No. 1 seed/No. 1 seed the USC (23-1) from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), No. 5 seed/No. 7 University of the Pacific (17-7) from the Golden Coast Conference, No. 9 University of California-Irvine (14-13) from the Big West Conference, No. 6 seed/No. 10 Michigan (32-8) from the CWPA, No. 12 University of Calfornia-San Diego (24-11) from the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA), No. 18 Wagner College (24-6) from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and the No. 1 team in Division III, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (22-10) from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
The at-large selections include No. 2 seed/No. 2 Stanford University (18-3) from the MPSF, No. 3 seed/No. 3 California (19-5) from the MPSF and No. 4 seed/No. 4 University of California-Los Angeles (22-7) from the MPSF.
Michigan has a 3-6 record in 2018 against the other nine teams in the NCAA field with two wins over UC-San Diego and one against Wagner. U-M lost three times to Pacific, twice to UCLA and once to Cal.
Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletics Communications