Sept. 13, 2005
The Bruins will receive their first real test in the pool this weekend as UCLA travels to the 2005 SoCal Tournament, hosted by UC Irvine. Sixteen teams will be competing in the affair this weekend, 15 of which are ranked in the top 20. Should the pairings play out without upset, UCLA would face Stanford in Sunday's first match and could potentially face USC in the tournament's championship contest.
UCLA has been awarded the top seed for this weekend's tournament. The Bruins have been placed in Bracket A along with UC Irvine, LMU and Bucknell. Should the Bruins defeat Bucknell in the first match (Saturday, 8 a.m.), UCLA would face the winner of the LMU-UCI match. With a win over LMU-UCI, the Bruins would advance to Sunday's semis against the winner of Bracket D (Stanford, Pepperdine, UC Davis, UCSB). The winner of that contest will face the winner of Bracket B (Cal, UCSD, Navy, Cal Baptist) vs. Bracket C (USC, LBSU, Pacific, Redlands) in Sunday night's championship match (4:45 p.m.).
2005 Alumni Match
UCLA's undefeated men's water polo team finally met its match last Saturday afternoon at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The first team to defeat the defending national champions were the Bruins themselves as UCLA's alumni squad edged Head Coach Adam Krikorian's 2005 squad, 10-8, in the program's annual Alumni Game exhibition. Scoring goals for the Alumni Team were former National Player of the Year Sean Kern, Gary O'Brian, Bryce Moore (2), Hank Peterson, Greg Arth, Steve Granick and James Palda.
With it's 30-2 victory over Chaminade on Sept. 3, the 2005 UCLA team joined the 1970 and 1971 teams as the only Bruin squads to ever scored 30 points in a match. That 1970 team set what is still the UCLA record for goals in a game as it notched 39 against Air Force. The most goals that had been scored since 1970 was 27, a feat accomplished by both the 1988 and 1990 teams.
After winning the first four matches of 2005, UCLA has now won 24 of its last 25 and 29 of its last 32 matches, dating back to last season. More impressively, Head Coach Adam Krikorian, who also coached the UCLA women's water polo team to an NCAA title in 2005, has now won 39 consecutive matches and 62 of the last 65 between both his teams.
Shooting Out of the Gate
Sophomore utility player Justin Johnson, after scoring just one goal in three attempts as a freshman in 2004, is already the UCLA team leader with eight goals after the season's first four matches. Johnson scored three goals in the opener against Chaminade, one in the first game against BYU and then two in each of UCLA's last two games in Hawaii. Redshirt freshman Russell Simpkins, after notching four goals in the opener against Chaminade, is second on the young team with seven goals.
Those wishing to request interviews with any current UCLA water polo player or coach must contact the UCLA Sports Information office at 310-206-4008. Players and coaches are available after practice Monday-Friday at approximately 5 p.m.