Once again, the UCLA women’s water polo team opened its season in the state of Michigan. Luckily for the Bruins, the 2011 season started much more smoothly than 2010 did.
No. 4 UCLA came away with four wins in four games over the weekend, defeating Colorado State, No. 14 Hartwick, No. 8 Michigan and No. 15 Cal State Northridge at the Michigan Kick-Off in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The toughest game of the four came Sunday morning against the host Wolverines.
Three unanswered second-quarter goals had UCLA up 5-2 at the half, but Michigan responded with three straight goals of its own to tie the game up in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore utility Emily Greenwood broke the 5-all deadlock in the fourth quarter with her third goal of the weekend, a goal that proved to be the game-winner in a 6-5 UCLA win.
Junior utility KK Clark led the way for the Bruins with nine goals in four games. Greenwood, an all-MPSF freshman team selection a year ago, had five goals over the weekend.
In 2010, the Bruins opened in Michigan with a 3-1 start. The lone loss came to San Diego State, but it was the first in a series of puzzling losses by UCLA to lower-ranked teams throughout the up-and-down season.
Invitationals make up the bulk of most women’s water polo teams’ schedules, and UCLA will have three more this year ““ at Stanford, San Diego and UC Irvine.
The Bruins return home this weekend to face Long Beach State on Friday at Spieker Aquatics Center. The game against the 49ers is one of seven home games in 2011.
Compiled by Ryan Menezes, Bruin Sports senior staff.