Eighteen of the top 20 women’s water polo teams in the nation will join five more teams to participate in the Daktronics Gaucho Invitational to be held at Campus Pool today through Sunday.

Santa Barbara (4-3 overall, 1-3 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) starts pool play today against Marist College (2-6 overall), a team in only its second year at the NCAA level, and one of only four unranked teams in the tournament. Second on the agenda for the #8 Gauchos is San Diego State. UCSB defeated the Aztecs earlier in the season. The 7-2 win over the Aztecs propelled the Gauchos from the #10 to the #8 spot, while dropping San Diego State from #7 to #10.

UCSB has continuously spread the ball around offensively this season, with three or more Gauchos scoring in every game played thus far. Alaina Whitaker leads the offense with 11 goals scored, while Jennifer D’Anna, Dana Saign and Katy Kunkel follow with eight, seven and seven goals, respectively.

Christy Medigovich and Rosie Redaelli have been sharing time between the posts, posting 6.5 and 5.66 save averages, respectively.

Santa Barbara has done most of its scoring in the second and third quarters, while allowing its opponents to score in the first and fourth quarters.