SANTA BARBARA — Senior Cortney Collyer scored a team-high four goals to pace the UC Irvine women's water polo team to its third straight Big West Conference Tournament title with an 11-5 triumph Sunday at UC Santa Barbara.
The win, the seventh straight for the No. 10-ranked Anteaters (21-8) gives UCI an automatic NCAA Tournament berth, the first NCAA Tournament trip in the program's history. This is the first year the Big West Tournament winner was granted an at-large berth.
UCI, which has won 11 of its last 12 and is now 8-0 in the three-year history of the Big West Tournament, is the No. 5 seed in the eight-team NCAA Tournament that runs May 13 through 15 at the University of Michigan.
UCI will play No. 4-seeded USC (18-6) in the quarterfinals on May 13. USC, the reigning NCAA champion, which finished fifth in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, defeated UCI, 14-4, in their only meeting this season on March 12.