The Stanford women's water polo team was awarded the No. 2 seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament scheduled to begin Friday, May 10 at Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.
The Cardinal will meet No. 7 seed Iona in the first round.
Stanford (27-2), two-time defending NCAA champion and with three titles overall (2002, 2011, 2012), earned one of two at-large bids into the eight-team National Collegiate field. The Cardinal was joined by fellow Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams USC, which earned the conference's automatic bid and the field's top seed, and UCLA, which earned the second at-large bid as well as the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Rounding out the field in order of seed (4-8) are Hawai'i (Big West), UC San Diego (WWPA), Princeton (CWPA), Iona (MAAC) and Pomona-Pitzer (SCIAC).
All eight teams are guaranteed to play three games at the event. Monday's announcement continues Stanford's status as the only collegiate women's water polo program to qualify for every tournament since the NCAA first sponsored a women's water polo championship in 2001. This year's event will mark the Cardinal's 14th consecutive appearance at the event.
May 10's quarterfinal against Iona will be Stanford's second postseason meeting in three years with the Gaels. At the 2011 National Collegiate Championship the Cardinal defeated the eighth-seeded Gaels 22-7 en route to the NCAA title.
Stanford turned in a runner-up finish at the MPSF Championship this past weekend in Berkeley, defeating UCLA 11-7 in the semifinal round before dropping an 11-7 decision to USC in Sunday's title game.
The Cardinal enters the National Collegiate Championship with the MPSF's top defense, allowing just 4.52 goals per game while the offense is ranked second with 13.03 goals scored per game.
Senior two-meter Melissa Seidemann leads the team with 67 goals followed by freshman Maggie Steffens (54 goals), reigning Peter J. Cutino Award winner Kiley Neushul (48), freshman Anna Yelizarova (44) and junior Annika Dries (32).
In the cage, Stanford's top-rated defense is anchored by senior goalie Kate Baldoni, who boasts a goals-against average of 4.67, tops among No. 1 goalies in the conference.
Stanford is fourth at 27-over-par 727 after two rounds on Monday of the Pac-12 Championships at the Los Angeles Country Club.
The Cardinal opened the 36-hole day with a 16-over 366, claiming sixth as the 12-team field headed into the afternoon second round. The next 18 holes proved to be better. With a 361, Stanford moved two spots up the leaderboard.
Top-ranked (Golfweek) California leads the tournament at five-under 695, after an opening 338 followed by a 357. No. 5 UCLA (346-358) checks in second with 704, while No. 7 Washington (349-360) claims third at 709.
Patrick Rodgers (68-72) led the Cardinal, tying for fifth at even-par 140. The sophomore fired five birdies and three bogeys to go 2 under on the first 18 holes.
"Round one got off to a rocky start but I stayed composed and rolled in some putts," said Rodgers who holds a 70.4 stroke average in 29 rounds of competition. "I made a bad swing on 17 and hit in the hazard but managed a bogey and made a great birdie on 18 to a tough pin. All in all 68 was a solid opening round."
During the second round, Rodgers made three birdies through the front nine, putting him 1 under. But three late bogeys pushed him back three strokes.
"In round two I was right there heading into the back nine this afternoon and just didn't hit the ball very well," Rodgers continued. "I didn't have any good looks over nine holes and seemed to always have five or six feet for par. We were racing against daylight and time, so I was out of my rhythm a bit finishing my round."
One stroke behind Rodgers is Cameron Wilson (71-70), who is tied for 11th at 141. His 1-over first round came in second for the team, but it was his even-par second round that led the Cardinal.
During the second round, Wilson birdied the first hole but bogeyed the third. He went on to birdie the sixth and bogey the ninth. Through the back, the junior parred the rest of his holes for a steady finish.
For reigning Pac-12 Champion Andrew Yun, the day started with a 72, only going under once after firing an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole. The senior then finished the afternoon with a 76, tying for 42nd at 148.
"This golf course is going to test your patience more than your golf game," Yun said. "Tomorrow I need to be more aggressive and confident with my game. I'm not going to wait for an opportunity. I'm going to make the opportunities."
Freshman David Boote, also tied for 42nd, opened with a 76 and followed up with a 72.
Two strokes behind Yun and Boote was senior Steve Kearney (79-71), who tied for 49th at 150.
Rounding out the field was junior Shane Lebow (81-76) who scored 157 to tie for 67th.
"For tomorrow I need a good round to help lead a team charge and get back into the mix individually," Rodgers said. "I need to get off to a good start and make consistently good decisions to ensure a good result."