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Water Polo NCAA Champs
 

Bruins Gearing Up For NCAA Final Four This Weekend
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  11/30/2004

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Nov. 30, 2004

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After its second-place finish at last weekend's MPSF Tournament, UCLA has been awarded an at-large bid into the upcoming NCAA Final Four Tournament, hosted this weekend by Stanford. The Bruins, whose 18-match winning streak was snapped at the hands of Stanford in the MPSF Title match, will enter this weekend's post-season tournament with an overall record of 23-3. Second-seeded UCLA will play its semifinal match on Saturday, December 4 against Princeton at 5:00 p.m. The winner of that match will face the winner of top-seeded Stanford vs. fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount on Sunday in the championship contest at 2 p.m. The two losing schools will face off in the third place match on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The championship match will be televised nationally by CSTV.

Bruins at the MPSF Tournament...
The Bruins finished second at last weekend's MPSF tournament after being upset 7-6 by No. 2 Stanford in the title match on Sunday evening. Earlier in the weekend, UCLA dispatched eighth-seeded UC Santa Barbara 6-1 and fifth-seeded UC Irvine 10-6. In all three matches, senior attacker Brett Ormsby netted two goals, bringing his season total to a near-career high 67. Fellow senior Albert Garcia contributed three goals over the weekend as did senior Josh Hewko. Goalkeeper Joseph Axelrad notched a combined 31 saves in the three matches, including a career-high tying 14 against the Anteaters on Saturday.

UCLA and the Final Four... UCLA is making its 26th appearance in the NCAA post-season and sixth appearance since 1995, when the NCAA cut its playoff pool to four. The Bruins were last in the Final Four in 2001, when they finished second to national champions Stanford after defeating LMU in the semifinal round. UCLA last won a national championship when it won back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000. Since 1969, UCLA has won seven national titles (1969, 1971, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000). In the last ten years, UCLA has won more NCAA Water Polo titles (5) than any other school.

The Opponents...
In 2004 UCLA is a combined 3-2 against this weekend's Final Four participants (has not faced Princeton). Stanford (22-4): The Bruins and The Cardinal have split four meetings this season, with Stanford taking the most recent contest on Nov. 28 in the MPSF title match. Stanford leads the all-time series against UCLA 55-69. Loyola Marymount (20-10): UCLA and LMU met once in 2004 back on October 9, when UCLA posted a 15-7 victory at home. Last season, UCLA defeated LMU twice, once by a score of 5-4 at the SoCal Tournament and again 7-6 at LMU. The Bruins have never lost to the Lions and lead the all-time series 13-0. Princeton (25-4): UCLA has not faced Princeton since the schools met at the NorCal Tournament in 2002. UCLA won that contest 12-10 and is 3-0 against the Tigers all-time.

The Streak...
UCLA's 7-6 loss to Stanford snapped its 18-match winning streak, which began back on September 25. The Bruins went 12-0 in October and began November 5-0. The streak (fifth longest in school history) was the longest since the 1989-90 Bruins ran off 19 straight victories. During the streak, UCLA outscored its opponents 171-93.


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