A quick start had the UCLA women’s water polo team ready to shock USC ““ again.
But it was all too little and too early for the Bruins, who were felled on Saturday by the Women of Troy, 10-8, in the first of what will likely be multiple matchups between the conference rivals.
In the end, No. 4 UCLA defeated two top-five opponents at the Stanford Invitational over the weekend and went 3-1.
Against USC, UCLA was paced by junior utility KK Clark, who had two quick goals and helped jumpstart the Bruins to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Women of Troy immediately answered with four goals of their own, and UCLA would not get the lead back.
Three Bruins accounted for the eight goals: Clark (four), senior attacker Priscilla Orozco (three) and senior defender Kelly Easterday (one).
The two teams were meeting for the first time since UCLA upset USC in the finals of the 2010 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament.
UCLA finished in third place at the Invitational after a win over No. 3 California. UCLA had previously beaten No. 5 Hawai’i and No. 15 Indiana.
The Bruins could move up to a No. 3 national ranking after their performance in Stanford, but they will have some work to do before moving further up the standings. The No. 1 ranking will still be in the hands of Stanford, which outlasted USC ““ the defending NCAA champion ““ in the final, a 10-9 match that required four overtime periods.
Compiled by Ryan Menezes, Bruin Sports senior staff.