Feb. 18, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After losing six of seven starters from its 2004 National Championship squad, the UCLA men's water polo team has signed six high school seniors to National Letters of Intent. The new class, which will enter UCLA in the fall of 2005, includes the 2003 and 2004 CIF Southern Section Division I Player of the Year and two Youth National Team members. All six student-athletes are from the greater Southern California region.
The class includes Miguel Cidoncha-Simms (San Diego, University City HS), Cole Consani (Manhattan Beach, Mira Costa HS), Tyler Jemmett (San Diego, Bishop's HS), Jeffrey Smith (San Clemente, San Clemente HS), Scott Swanson (Long Beach, Wilson HS) and Chay Lapin (Long Beach, Wilson HS).
"The losses of six integral parts of our 2004 national championship team will be tough to replace, but we feel that the addition of these six guys put us right where we need to be in order to compete for another NCAA title," Head Coach Adam Krikorian said.
Cidoncha-Simms, a left-handed attacker, was a first-team All-CIF pick and a fifth-team California-Hawaii All-American as a senior in 2004. He was also named to the San Diego Union Tribune's All-County First-team and All-Academic Team. Cidoncha-Simms competed with the U.S. Youth National team late last December in the NorAm Tournament in Canada and helped guide the U.S. to a third place finish. He notched five goals in the team's first five games, including a hat trick in the opening match against the Japanese youth team.
Consani, a center/two-meter man, was a first-team Division III All-CIF selection as well as being a sixth-team California-Hawaii All-American. He scored 74 goals in 33 matches for the Mustangs in 2004 and was named the Daily Breeze Player of the Year after leading his team to its fourth consecutive league title.
Jemmett, another member of the Youth National Team, was also a first-team All-CIF pick and a Union Tribune first-team all-county selection as a senior in 2004. The attacker was also named a second-team California-Hawaii All-American. During his time at the NorAm Tournament with Team USA, Jemmett tallied eight goals in five contests.
Smith, another second-team All-CIF pick, was named an honorable mention California-Hawaii All-American.
Swanson was the 2003 Division I Player of the Year and was a first-team All-CIF pick as a senior in 2004. The four-time CIF champion at Long Beach Wilson HS was also a first-team California-Hawaii All-American.
Lapin, regarded as the best high school goalkeeper in Southern California by recruiters, was named the 2004 Division I Player of the Year after his goalkeeping play led the Bruins to their fourth consecutive CIF title. Lapin, a four-year teammate of Swanson, was also a first-team California-Hawaii All-American.