Oct. 17, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After a runner-up finish at last weekend's NorCal Tournament, the UCLA men's water polo team retained its No. 2 ranking in today's American Water Polo Coaches' Association poll.
The Bruins won their qualifying group Saturday by defeating Air Force 13-5, followed by Long Beach State in overtime, 10-8. On Sunday, the Bruins held on for a 9-8 semifinal victory over USC, then fell to the Cardinal 7-4 in the championship match. Sophomore driver Albert Garcia (Long Beach/Wilson) led the club with nine goals for the tournament.
Stanford, UCLA, Pepperdine, and USC held the top four positions on each of the five ballots. California, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Loyola Marymount, and UC Santa Barbara rounded out the top ten.
"(No. 2) is the right ranking for now," UCLA head coach Adam Krikorian said. "We still have to prove ourselves against Cal and Pepperdine before that ranking can be legitimate."
UCLA (8-2, 3-0 MPSF) meets California (8-2, 2-1) in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena. A Bruin win would give Krikorian his 50th victory in less than three full seasons.
The complete poll can be viewed at www.collegiatewaterpolo.com