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Stephanie Ovalle
Stephanie Ovalle
Courtesy: Marc Hagemeier
Women's Water Polo Opens League Play Saturday
Release:   03/27/2014

LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s water polo team has been idle for nearly two weeks since returning to Pennsylvania from its spring break trip. The Bison have just five games remaining in their regular season with all five contests against fellow CWPA Southern Division opponents, beginning this Saturday with games against No. 9 Princeton (3 p.m.) and Mercyhurst (7 p.m.) in Erie, Pa.

Bucknell will bring a 7-9 record into Saturday’s competition. The Bison have played six ranked opponents this year, including four on their eight-game trip to California.

Sophomore Eleanor Marrs continues to lead Bucknell in scoring with 37 points (15g, 22a), while classmate Hannah Sunday and senior Julianne Valdes have netted a team-high 19 goals apiece. Marrs has piled up 11 multi-point performances.

Third-year head coach John McBride has used a consistent starting lineup as six players – Mackenzie Ferry, Rena Heim, Marrs, Stephanie Ovalle, Sunday and Valdes – have started all 16 games this season.

Heim, a senior, has posted 119 saves on the year, marking her four straight 100-save campaign. She has five double-figure save outings and currently ranks third in program history with 780 career stops.

Bucknell will be squaring off against Princeton for the second time this year (L, 10-3 at February’s Bison Invitational), while it will be its first meeting with Mercyhurst. The Bison are 5-35 all-time against the Tigers. They own a 9-1 all-time series lead against the Lakers.

Princeton is ranked ninth nationally and owns a 21-1 record this season. The Tigers only loss was to nationally ranked San Jose State and opponents are averaging just 6.0 goals per game.

Mercyhurst is 9-6 this year and has won three of its last four games. The Lakers are 4-0 at home and are scheduled to face Princeton at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Bucknell will return home next weekend, April 5-6, to wrap up the regular season by hosting three league games. The Bison will take on Harvard (Saturday, 10 a.m.), George Washington (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.) and Brown (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.). The Brown contest will air live on Bison Vision on the Patriot League Network.  

Bucknell vs. Weekend Opponents
Bucknell vs. Princeton: 5-35 (Tigers have won last seven meetings)
Bucknell vs. Mercyhurst: 9-1 (Bison have won last six meetings)

Bucknell’s Weekly Awards/Honors in 2014
CWPA Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week: Rena Heim (Feb. 25)
CWPA Southern Division Rookie of the Week: Tegan Stanbach (Feb. 18)

Bison on Career Record Lists
Rena Heim: Saves (3rd, 780)
Stephanie Ovalle: Sprints Won (5th, 78)
Hannah Sunday: Ejections Drawn (10th, 106)
Julianne Valdes: Points (7th, 270), Goals (8th, 160), Assists (7th, 110), Ejections Drawn (6th, 126), Sprints Won (4th, 85), Shots (7th, 402), Games Started (9th, 106)

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