The UCSB’s women’s water polo team, headed by Coach Danielle Altman, is looking forward to another eventful season this coming spring.

The ladies finished the 2006 season with an 18-17 overall record, going 11-7 at Campus Pool and a sub-par 4-7 on the road. The ladies are hoping for an even more prosperous season this coming spring with eight incoming freshmen players who have been noted to be bringing some heavy heat.

For the second consecutive year, UCSB women’s water polo has had recipients of the all-academic award presented by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation including senior Alaina Whitaker and junior utility ZiZi Clark in the 2006 season. Eligibility for this award requires athletes to hold a minimum 3.0 GPA as well as be of sophomore standing with at least one year at the college and performance in at least half of the season’s matches. Along with Whitaker and Clark, junior attacker Allie Carkin, junior Rebecca Maichrowicz and junior attacker Lindsay Knott were also recipients in the past year.

The Gaucho freshman class consists of attacker Taylor Byrne of Miami, Fla., utility Christie Clark of Atherton, Calif., attacker Kellie Fernbacher of Orinda, Calif., attacker Emily Friedmann of Orinda, Calif., attacker Katie Kepner of Newport Beach, Calif., attacker Alisha Khan of Moraga, Calif., defender Chelsea Lyman of Newport Beach, Calif., and center Elizabeth Rouleau of Mountain View, Calif.

Altman has recently signed five new players to the National Letters of Intent this past fall signing period. The Gauchos are expecting great things to come from new additions Claire Buchanan of Carmichael, Calif., Carly Clark of Westlake Village, Calif., Cailee Kilroy of Santa Barbara, Calif., Kathryn Nelson of Lompoc, Calif., and Michelle Beaudreau of San Mateo, Calif. in the 2008 season.

The ladies are looking forward to an amazing spring, giving the Gauchos a new meaning to the sport. Make sure to make it to their first game this weekend at the Cal Baptist mini tournament held in Riverside. UCSB will face off against Cal Baptist beginning at 10:30 Saturday morning.

Catch a glimpse of their newest players along with our returning Gauchos who will be sure to tear up the pool in an exciting match.