TOP STORIES
Muscle Milk Rotator Sponsor
Bruin Water Polo Opens Season at Home
By: UCLA Athletics

Sept. 4, 2001

Two-time defending NCAA champion UCLA (0-0) opens its 2001 men's water polo season by hosting MPSF nemesis UC Irvine (0-0) at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center this Saturday at noon. The match between the Bruins and Anteaters will not count in the conference standings, and is the first of two meetings this year between the teams.

Last Weekend: The Bruins began the season by playing at the Wasko Scrimmage Tournament at Pepperdine last Saturday. The Bruins battled UCSB, UC San Diego and Pepperdine in three-period scrimmages.

This Week's Opponent: UCI leads the all-time series 56-46-1, including two wins over UCLA last season (Sept. 9, 9-7 in OT, Nov. 12, 9-8). Irvine finished 20-7 last year and entered the conference tournament as the top seed, but the Anteaters were surprised by Cal in the semifinals. Coach Ted Newland enters his 36th season with 663 career victories, the most in collegiate water polo history. Like UCLA, UC Irvine lost six starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's squad. Senior utility players John Dorfi and Chris Kirchwehm will led the Anteater attack, while junior transfer Doug Finfrock will likely start in goal.

UCLA Season Outlook: Head Coach Adam Krikorian begins his first season alone at the helm of the men's team. While the 2000 Bruins were loaded with six senior starters in the field (accounting for 183 of the team's 272 goals), the 2001 squad is relatively inexperienced. In all, only 10 of 19 letterwinners return from the side that routed UC San Diego 11-2 in last year's NCAA title game.

The bulk of the experience is on the defensive side of the pool. First-team All-American Brandon Brooks (Jr., Honolulu, HI/Punahou), arguably the nation's best collegiate goalkeeper (4.80 goals-against average in 2000), is on pace to break all of UCLA's netminder records. Matt Flesher (Jr., Diamond Bar, CA/Brea Olinda) will be the primary two-meter defender. Flesher is also a scoring threat from outside, piling up 32 goals last season as a part-time starter.

The greatest fight for playing time comes in the middle of the pool. Returning drivers Jon Puffer (Sr., El Segundo/El Segundo HS), Jeff Pflueger (Sr., Santa Ana/Foothill HS), and Albert Garcia (So., Long Beach/Wilson HS) combined for just 33 goals as reserves a year ago. Their ascension to the starting lineup will be contested by freshman phenoms Brett Ormsby (El Cajon/Valhalla HS) and Josh Hewko (San Clemente/San Clemene HS)

Up front, two-meter man Alfonso Tucay (Sr., Burbank/Burroughs HS) will start the year as the inside presence of the attack, with Ted Peck (Fr., Irvine/University) waiting in the wings.

Preseason Ranking: The first United States Water Polo National Collegiate Division I poll of the season will be released Wednesday, Sept. 5. The Bruins' 2001 schedule includes all but one of the top 10 teams from last season's final national poll.

EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Sep 05 - 9:20 AM PST
vs. UC Davis
San Diego, CA
Saturday, Sep 05 - 1:20 PM PST
vs. UC Irvine
San Diego, CA
Sunday, Sep 06 - 8:30 AM PST
vs. Concordia
San Diego, CA
Sunday, Sep 06 - 1:50 PM PST
vs. Pepperdine
San Diego, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 8:00 AM PST
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 11:45 AM PST
vs. UC San Diego
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 2:15 PM PST
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Sep 13 - 10:20 AM PST
at Redlands
Redlands, CA
Sunday, Sep 13 - 12:00 PM PST
vs. Whittier
Redlands, CA
Saturday, Sep 19 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Saturday, Sep 19 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Sep 20 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Sep 20 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 11:00 AM PST
vs. ...
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Chapman
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Alumni Match
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 02 - 4:00 PM PST
at Pepperdine
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 03 - 12:00 PM PST
at Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Oct 10 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 10 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Sunday, Oct 11 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Sunday, Oct 11 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 17 - TBA PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Oct 18 - 2:00 PM PST
at San Jose State
San Jose, CA
Saturday, Oct 24 - TBA PST
vs. California
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 25 - 2:00 PM PST
at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
Sunday, Nov 01 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Pacific
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 06 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 08 - 12:00 PM PST
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
Sunday, Nov 15 - TBA PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 20 - TBA PST
vs. MPSF Quarterfinals
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Nov 21 - TBA PST
vs. MPSF Semifinals
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 22 - 3:00 PM PST
vs. MPSF Championships - ...
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 22 - 4:30 PM PST
vs. MPSF Championships - ...
Los Angeles, CA
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS