Oct. 4, 1999
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team (6-1 overall, 1-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) will face No. 7 Long Beach State (5-5 overall, 1-1 MPSF) Tuesday, Oct. 5 at Belmont Plaza for a 7 p.m. MPSF contest. The Bruins will then travel to the Bay Area to face the top water polo squads in the nation at the Northern California Tournament Oct. 9-10 to be held at Stanford's deGuerre Pool.
UCLA JUMPS TO NO. 1 IN THE NATION: For the first time since 1996, the Bruins are the top-ranked water polo team in the nation. UCLA jumped from to third to first in the U.S Water Polo Men's Collegiate Top 20 Poll released Wednesday, Sept. 29, thanks in part to a 6-5 upset victory over previously top-ranked Stanford. The last time the Bruins held a No. 1 ranking followed their NCAA championship title in 1996.
49ER NOTES: Long Beach State, led by first-year coach Rick Azevedo, has won three of its last four matches. Last weekend, the 49ers dropped Pepperdine 14-6, but lost to UC Santa Barbara 9-8 despite a 4-1 lead in the first half. Sophomore Chris Segesman and senior Patrick Cochran lead the 49ers and the MPSF with 23 points each. Segesman has 15 goals and four two-point goals, while Cochran has tallied 19 goals and a pair of two-pointers. Last year, the Bruins defeated the Beach twice in two meetings, increasing their all-time series advantage to 71-18-1.
NORCAL TOURNEY: The Bruins' No. 1 ranking will be tested this weekend at the Northern California Tournament, but opponents are not yet known. Tournament hosts are awaiting the results of the lastest coaches' poll to determine bracket seedings and game times. Stay tuned...
THE LONG BEACH CONNECTION: When UCLA faces Long Beach State, four Bruins will be reunited with their former high school coach, Rick Azevedo. Senior Matt Armato (Long Beach, Wilson), junior Adam Wright (Seal Beach, Wilson) and redshirt freshmen Ryan Brown (Long Beach, Wilson HS) and Mike Komrosky (Long Beach, Wilson HS) all played for Azevedo at Wilson High in Long Beach. Azevedo begins his first year as the head coach of the 49ers water polo program.
GAME TIME SET FOR CAL: The Bruins will host California Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center for an MPSF conference matchup at 10 a.m., preceding the football game at 12:30 p.m.
BRUIN NOTABLES: UCLA has outscored its opponents 70-43 in the first seven games of 1999 and has scored no less than six points in one match.
In goal this season, senior netkeeper Parsa Bonderson (Santa Barbara, San Marcos HS) has collected 49 saves, has allowed 5.66 goals per game and ranks second in the conference with 5.43 points allowed per game.
Armato leads the Bruins and ranks fourth in MPSF scoring with 20 points (12 goals, four two-pointers) and is tied for first in two-point goals.
Wright and junior Sean Kern (Honolulu, HI, Punahou) round out the top three Bruin scorers, Wright has tallied 12 points (10 goals, one two-pointer) and Kern has scored 8 goals and one two-pointer for 10 points.
Juniors Blake Wellen (Mill Valley, Tamalpais HS) and Brian Brown (Santa Ana, Foothill HS) have made great defensive contributions and are tied with Wright for the team lead in steals with six.