UCLA coach gears up for season
Brooks on Bruins' title chances, and UCLA's double threat
UCLA has long been a dominant power in the sport of women's water polo having won five consecutive NCAA titles from 2004 to 2009. 2009. Head coach Brandon Brooks discusses the Bruins title hopes, UCLA's dynamic duo and the challenges of the cage.
Freeman: What does UCLA need to do to win the NCAA title?
Brooks: We need to be better at the fundamentals than we have been. We also need to put in the work. I think how hard you have to work to be successful has sunk in. We need to embrace that and work hard every day.
Freeman: Sarah Orozco and KK Clark were both members of UCLA's 2009 championship squad and I think are a bit underrated nationally. What makes them the exceptional players they are?
Brooks: Sarah came in and was the starting center on that team. The last couple years she has not played that position that much. She is very versatile and has improved her defense, awareness and speed. She recently played for Mexico in the World University and Pan American Games. KK Clark also played in the World University Games. She is very talented and has put in the hard work to capitalize on her potential.
Freeman: You probably have a unique perspective on this question as you are one of the best goalies America has ever produced. What makes Caitlin Dement so effective in the cage?
Brooks: First off, thank you. Caitlin has the body type of an ideal goalie. She is tall, long and lean with great athletic ability. This is her third year as the starter. Goalie is a position where more experience in the cage really matters. Getting comfortable knowing other shooter's habits. Dealing with the pressure of blocking shots. Having the maturity of getting over being scored on immediately all comes with experience.