NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship
|Number of teams||8|
|Current champions||USC (3)|
|Most successful club(s)||UCLA (7)|
The NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship has existed since the 2001 season. Four conferences have teams competing in women's water polo: the Collegiate Water Polo Association, the single-sport Golden Coast Conference, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Some teams compete at Division III either as members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference or independently.
|Year||National Champion||Score||Runner-Up||Host or site|
|2001||UCLA||5-4||Stanford||Stanford University, Avery Aquatic Center, Stanford, California|
|2002||Stanford||8-4||UCLA||USC, McDonald's Swim Stadium, Los Angeles, California|
|2003||UCLA (2)||4-3||Stanford||UC San Diego, Canyonview Pool, San Diego, California|
|2004||USC||10-8||Loyola Marymount||Stanford University, Avery Aquatic Center, Stanford, California|
|2005||UCLA (3)||3-2||Stanford||University of Michigan, Canham Natatorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|2006||UCLA (4)||9-8||USC||UC Davis, Schaal Aquatics Center, Davis, California|
|2007||UCLA (5)||5-4||Stanford||Long Beach State, Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, California|
|2008||UCLA (6)||6-3||USC||Stanford University, Avery Aquatic Center, Stanford, California|
|2009||UCLA (7)||5-4||USC||University of Maryland, Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium, College Park, Maryland|
|2010||USC (2)||10-9||Stanford||San Diego State, Aztec Aquaplex, San Diego, California|
|2011||Stanford (2)||9-5||California||University of Michigan, Canham Natatorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|2012||Stanford (3)||6-4||USC||San Diego State, Aztec Aquaplex, San Diego, California|
|2013||USC (3)||10-9 5OT||Stanford||Harvard University, Blodgett Pool, Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|2014||USC, Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Los Angeles, California|
No school from outside the state of California has ever surpassed fourth place. Hence, no non-California school has ever participated in the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship game, nor has a non-California school ever won the consolation game. In fact, with the exception of Stanford University and Cal (both in the northern part of the state), all of the schools who have achieved first, second, or third place have been located in Los Angeles. Prior to NCAA tournament competition, USA Water Polo conducted an intercollegiate team championship from 1984-2000. In 1995, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania became the only non-California school to win the intercollegiate women's water polo championship.
The NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship will be held on May 10-12, 2013 with Harvard University, Cambridge, MA hosting. Eight teams will be participating. Conference champions from the MPSF, WWPA, SCIAC, CWPA, MAAC, and Big West will represent the six automatic bids, joined by two at-large bids.
Tournament First Round games (May 10, 2013): No. 2 seed Stanford (27-2) def. No. 7 seed Iona (21-8) 20–3; No. 3 seed UCLA (26-6) def. No. 6 seed Princeton (26-5) 8–6; No. 1 seed Southern California (24-1) def. Pomona-Pitzer (18-16) 27–1; No. 4 seed Hawaii (21-9) def. No. 5 seed UC San Diego (25-13) 13–6
Semi-finals (May 11, 2013): No. 2 seed Stanford (28-2) def. No. 3 seed UCLA (27-6) 5–3; No. 1 seed Southern California (25-1) def. No. 4 seed Hawaii (22-9) 16–9
Championship (May 12, 2013): No. 1 seed Southern California (26-1) def. No. 2 seed Stanford (29-2), 10-95OT
The tournament will be held at the SDSU's Aztec Aquaplex in San Diego, California with automatic bids from the MPSF, CWPA, Big West, MAAC, WWPA and SCIAC conferences. The three-day championships on May 11–13, 2012, will also have two at-large teams.
Tournament First Round games (May 11, 2012): No. 1 Stanford (23-2) def. No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer (21-16) 17–5; No. 2 UCLA (21-3) def. No. 7 Iona (24-11) 14–3; No. 3 Southern California (21-5) def. No. 6 Princeton (28-4) 14–2; No. 4 UC Irvine (24-6) def. No. 5 Loyola Marymount (20-9) 8–6.
Semi-finals (May 12, 2012: No. 1 Stanford (24-2) vs. No. 4 UC Irvine (25-6); No. 2 UCLA (22-3) vs. No. 3 Southern California (22-5).
Championship (May 13, 2012): No. 1 Stanford or No. 4 UC Irvine vs. No. 2 UCLA or No. 3 Southern California.
The tournament was held at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan with automatic bids from the MPSF (Stanford), CWPA (Indiana), Big West (UCI), MAAC (Iona), WWPA (UCSD) and SCIAC (Redlands). The three-day championships on May 13–15, 2011, will also have two at-large teams.
Tournament First Round games: No. 1 Stanford (25-1) vs. No. 8 Iona College/University of Redlands (play-in winner); No. 5 UCI (21-8) vs. No. 4 USC (18-6); No. 3 UCLA (24-6) vs. No. 6 Indiana (21-8); No. 7 UCSD (17-18) vs. No. 2 California (24-4) Semi-finals: No. 2 California def. No. 3 UCLA 7–4; No. 1 Stanford def. No. 4 Southern California 8–4
Championship: No. 1 Stanford defeated No. 2 California 9-5 for its second national title.
All Tournament First Team: Amber Oland, Stanford; Annika Dries, Stanford; Emily Csikos, Cal; Kim Krueger, Stanford; Patricia Jancso, USC; Melissa Seidemann, Stanford; Dana Ochsner, Cal; Priscilla Orozco, UCLA
All Tournament Second Team: Stephane Peckham, Cal; Jakie Kohli, Indiana; Joelle Bekhazi, USC; KK Clark, UCLA; Cortney Collyer, UC Irvine; Jessy Cardey, UC Irvine; Maggie Wood, Iona; Kelly Easterday, UCLA
Tournament MVP: Annika Dries, Stanford
The tournament field was announced on Monday, May 3, 2010 with the Championship tournament scheduled for May 14–16 at San Diego State University's Aztec Aquaplex. Teams received automatic bids were: UCLA (MPSF), Michigan (CWPA), Marist (MAAC), Loyola Marymount (WWPA) and Pomona-Pitzer (SCIAC). Stanford, Cal and USC of MPSF received at-large bids.
Tournament Bracket: #1 Stanford (24-2) vs. #8 Pomona-Pitzer (18-14); #2 USC (22-3) vs. #7 Marist (18-14); #3 UCLA (20-7) vs. #6 Loyola Marymount (27-4); #4 Cal (24-8) vs. #5 Michigan (32-6)
Southern California (25-3) defeated Stanford in the title game 10-9 for its second national title in school history.
The following conferences and institutions received automatic qualification for the 2009 Championships, which were played on May 8–10: Collegiate Water Polo Association, Michigan; Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Marist; Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, USC; Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Cal Lutheran; and Western Water Polo Association, Loyola Marymount. The following institutions received at-large bids to the championship field: Stanford, UCLA, and Hawai'i.
The first round games: #1 seed USC (24-1) vs. #8 Cal Lutheran (19-12); #2 Stanford (24-3) vs. #7 Marist (18-13); #3 UCLA (22-6) vs. #6 Michigan (33-8); and #4 Hawai'i (18-8) vs. # 5 Loyola Marymount (24-7).
The UCLA Bruins women's team (3rd seeded) battled the #1 rated USC Trojans for the national championship on Sunday, May 10, 2009 at College Park, Maryland. With two goals from Tanya Gandy in the first minute of the game, UCLA won a record fifth consecutive crown, 11th national title and 7th NCAA crown. Gandy earned the NCAA Tournament's most valuable player honor.
- UCLA defeats USC, claims NCAA women's water polo title, Los Angeles Daily News, May 10, 2009
-  National Collegiate Women's Records Book
- Women's Water Polo Wins UCLA's 100th NCAA Title. Bruins capture third consecutive women's water polo crown with 5-4 win over Stanford. UCLA Athletic Department, May 13, 2007
- UCLA Defeats USC, 6-3, To Win Fourth-Straight NCAA Title. Women's water polo goes undefeated to win UCLA's 101st NCAA championship. UCLA Athletic Department, May 11, 2008.