BRIDGEPORT, Pa. — Goalie Heidi Ritner (Sr., Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar) made 30 saves with seven steals to go 1-2 during a 2-2 weekend for No. 7-ranked the University of Michigan at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) Winter Invitational. For her performance, Ritner is named the January 20 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Division I Defensive Player of the Week.
A 17-time weekly honor recipient from the league office following four Defensive Player of the Week accolades in 2019 (February 25, March 18, April 15) and three Defensive Player of the Week awards (January 22, March 12, May 14) in 2018 along with five Rookie of the Week (January 23, February 13, February 27, April 10, May 15) and four Defensive Player of the Week (January 23, February 27, April 10, May 15) during her freshman season in 2017, she matched a career high with five steals to accompany 10 saves – including three on penalty shots – in a 9-7 victory over the host/No. 11 Gauchos on Sunday, January 19.
She opened the season on Saturday, January 18, by playing the first half of an 8-7 victory against No. 22 California State University-Northridge. Ritner exited the CSUN game with the lead after making five saves with four goals allowed. However, she did not earn the win.
She chipped in eight saves over three quarters of a 14-9 loss to No. 5 University of California-Irvine on January 18 and notched seven saves in an 8-7 last second loss to No. 4 University of California on January 19.