Sept. 30, 2002
NOR CAL TOURNAMENT: Third-ranked UCLA (3-3, 0-1 MPSF) will make its first trip north this weekend for the annual Nor Cal Tournament. Ten of the 12 teams in the tournament hold a spot in the American Water Polo Coaches Association Poll, including top-ranked Stanford.
First up for the Bruins will be Princeton, who is ranked 16th in the AWPCA poll. UCLA has never lost to the Tigers, holding a 2-0 advantage in the series. Princeton enters the week with an 8-2 record, suffering its only losses to St. Francis in the final match of the Princeton Invitational and another to ninth-ranked Navy.
Also in the Bruins' pool is fourth-ranked and MPSF foe Pacific along with UC Santa Cruz, who is ranked fifth in the Division III AWPCA poll. Pacific is currently 5-3, 1-0 in MPSF action. The Tigers are coming off a 8-6 loss to the tournament host Golden Bears. Senior utility player Nic Hepner leads Pacific with 15 goals.
The Banana Slugs hosted the UC Santa Cruz Slugfest tournament last weekend and fell to fellow Nor Cal competitors Air Force and UC Davis. However, UC Santa Cruz improved to 13-8 after the two-day competition.
LAST WEEKEND: UCLA returned to intercollegiate action last Saturday with its MPSF opener at fifth-ranked USC. After being defeated at McDoanld's Swim Stadium 9-7 in a double overtime match in the fifth-place game of the So Cal Tournament, USC returned the favor handing the Bruins a 10-8 double overtime loss.
UCLA, who had built a 6-5 lead from four third period goals, could not maintain the scoring pace with only two goals in the fourth quarter and overtime periods combined. Sophomore center Ted Peck set a new career-high with four goals in the match, while sophomore driver Brett Ormsby added two scores. Goalkeeper Brandon Brooks posted 12 saves in the contest.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Sophomore driver Brett Ormsby and sophomore center Ted Peck lead UCLA with nine goals each in only six matches, while senior center defender Matt Flesher has tallied eight scores in the young season. Senior goalkeeper Brandon Brooks is allowing 6.92 goals and averaging a MPSF leading 9.33 saves per match.
BRUINS IN THE POLL: The Bruins are currently ranked third in the most recent American Water Polo Coaches Association Poll after their fifth-place finish in the So Cal Tournament and victories over Navy, Long Beach State and USC. The new poll, which will reflect last weekend's results, will not be released until Wednesday, October 2nd.