The NCAA selection show was just the beginning.
In less than 18 hours, the UCLA women’s water polo team officially won the No. 1 seed to the NCAA Tournament, Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and conference tournament MVP.
Coach Brandon Brooks, after leading the Bruins to a 22-1 and an undefeated in-conference record, was named MPSF Coach of the Year.
Brooks picked up his 200th career win Sunday in UCLA’s 6-3 win over No. 2 Stanford in the MPSF championship game, the fourth conference title for the Bruins in his eight-year tenure.
In the same release, freshman attacker Maddie Musselman was named MPSF Newcomer of the Year. She broke the conference record for most Newcomer of the Week awards this year, with seven spaced throughout the 2017 season – the previous record being held by Stanford’s Jordan Raney, who had five in 2015.
Musselman leads the Bruins in goals with 59, and ranks second in the conference behind the Trojans’ Stephania Haralabidis. USC has played nine more games than the UCLA has this year, and Musselman’s goals per game ratio stands alone at the top of the MPSF.
Against the Trojans at Spieker Aquatics Center two weeks ago, she scored five of UCLA’s 11 goals, and as a result, became the first person in history to win MPSF Newcomer of the Week and Player of the Week titles.
Should she finish first on the Bruins in goals, Musselman would become the first freshman to lead UCLA in scoring in program history.
She scored four goals over the course of the weekend’s tournament and was the only freshman to be named to the MPSF/KAP7 All-Tournament team, but the weekend belonged to her Olympic teammate, redshirt senior attacker Rachel Fattal.
Fattal was awarded MPSF/KAP7 Tournament MVP after scoring three of UCLA’s six goals in the win over Stanford, in addition to scoring two goals in the Bruins’ win over California in the semifinals.
This is her fourth All-MPSF team selection and third first-team All-MPSF selection, and Fattal currently ranks third on the all-time UCLA scoring list, and first on the all-time steals and all-time assists list.
All in all, UCLA had a total of five All-MPSF team selections. Musselman was the only underclassmen named to the eight-person first team and redshirt senior attacker Kodi Hill was named to the second-team. Redshirt senior defender Alys Williams and sophomore goalie Carlee Kapana were named honorable mentions.
Freshman utility Bronte Halligan, along with Musselman, was named to the MPSF All-Newcomer team.
The women’s water polo team started the season ranked third in the nation, but has of late become the favorite to win the national championship.
In addition to what was revealed in the past day, UCLA received 100 points in the Collegiate Water Polo Association polls last week, before the outcome of the NCAA Tournament, and in the past three games against top-three teams, has only trailed for two minutes and 23 seconds.