As the No. 1 overall seed in the Big West Tournament the University of Hawai’i water polo team is headed to San Diego, California to defend its title. The Rainbow Wahine clinched the top spot and Big West regular season title after sweeping UC Davis while maintaining their perfect home record and UCSD falling to UC Irvine this past weekend.
The last time the ‘Bows were the top seed was in 2018 when they finished runner up to UC Irvine in a triple overtime sudden death match in Irvine, Calif. At the time freshman goalie, now junior, Molly DiLalla recorded a career-high 17 saves, tying the school record for most saves in a match by a UH goalie.
In 2019, the second-seeded Hawaii captured its third Big West Championship in school history after toppling top-seeded UCI 7-6 in Long Beach, Calif. Carmen Baringo tallied one goal in the match while DiLalla recorded six saves.
Last season the ‘Bows were expected to make another big run before the season was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Wahine are offensively driven by freshman Lucia Gomez de la Puente’s 17 goals and 16 assists. DiLalla has been a mainstay in goal, with 64 saves, including two penalty shot saves.
Hawai’i (9-1, 3-1 Big West) will look to continue its nine game winning streak as well as seek their second consecutive Big West Tournament title this weekend.
The ‘Bows will play the winner of Friday’s No. 4 UC Davis and No. 5 Long Beach State game.
No. 2 UC San Diego and No. 3 UC Irvine will play in the other semifinal on May 1 following Hawaii’s 9 a.m. HT game.