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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Southern California will be the No. 1 seed at the NCAA National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship hosted by Harvard University at Blodgett Pool May 10-12, the NCAA announced tonight. Seven teams will join the Trojans for the three-day tournament that will crown the 2013 national champion.
The rest of the field includes Stanford, the two-time defending champion, UCLA, Hawaii, UC-San Diego, Princeton, Iona and Pomona-Pitzer. The tournament kicks off May 10 with No. 2 Stanford (27-2) facing No. 7 seed Iona (21-8) at 1:45 p.m. ET. The next game will feature No. 3 seed UCLA (26-6) and No. 6 seed Princeton (26-5) at 3:30 p.m. Southern California (24-1) will face Pomona-Pitzer (18-16) in the third game of the day at 5:15 p.m. The final contest of the day will pit No. 5 seed UC San Diego (25-13) against No. 4 seed Hawaii (21-9) at 7 p.m.
Some of the best water polo talent in the world will be represented at the tournament including many Olympians. Highlighting the players that will appear at Blodgett include the 2012 London Olympics top two leading scorers. Stanford freshman Maggie Steffens led the Olympics in goals and USC freshman Anni Espar, a member of the silver-medal winning Spain Olympic Team, finished second.
The 2013 NCAA National Collegiate Women's Water Polo Championship will mark the first time in the 13-year history of the event that it will be hosted in the northeast region of the United States. Blodgett Pool has hosted several regional water polo championships, including the Collegiate Water Polo Association Men's Northern Championships in 2002 and the Women's Eastern Championships in 2009.
"Playing at Harvard will offer a tremendous experience for our student-athletes," said Matthew Anderson, chair of the NCAA Women's Water Polo Committee and head coach at Michigan, after Harvard was selected as the host. "It will be great to give the northeast part of the country an opportunity to see the best women's water polo has to offer when the 2013 championship takes place at Harvard."
Harvard will now have hosted six NCAA championship events over the last eight years, including women's basketball (2006), men's lacrosse (2008, 2009, 2012), fencing (2010) and women's water polo (2013).