September 14, 1998
This Weekend In Water Polo: The No. 6 Bruins (1-0 overall, 0-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) will be among the nation's top ten, in addition to No. 13 Air Force and No. 14 Navy, at this weekend's annual Southern California Tournament. The round-robin style competition will be held at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, and is hosted by both UC Irvine and the Newport Harbor High School Water Polo Booster Club.
UCLA was placed in the 'A' bracket for the tournament, and will be joined by University of the Pacific and UC Santa Barbara. Top-five teams entered in the competition are No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 UC Irvine and Pepperdine, No. 4 Cal, and No. 5 USC (rankings as of 9/2/98). The Bruins are scheduled to play UOP at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, with their UCSB match following at 3:40 p.m. On Sunday, the top seeds of each bracket will meet at 9:10 (brackets A and D) and 10:15 (B and C). The Southern California Tournament Championship will be determined at 4:45 p.m.
UCLA owns a 13-3 lifetime record over the Pacific Tigers, increased by two wins last season. UOP entered 1998 with a new coach, Courtney Porter, and a No. 7 ranking. The Bruins caught a glimpse of No. 8 UC Santa Barbara at the Pepperdine Scrimmage Tournament, where UCLA beat the Gauchos in a non-regulation game. The Bruins are 69-16-1 lifetime versus UCSB, including a 12-1 victory in '97.
A B C D UCLA USC California UC Irvine UOP Stanford Long Beach Pepperdine UC Santa Barbara Air Force UC San Diego NavyLast Week's Recap: The Bruins upset UC Irvine at the Anteaters' home pool on Saturday, stealing the 5-4 victory. Redshirt sophomore Andy Bailey (San Clemente, San Clemente HS) netted two goals, including the game-winner, to lead UCLA. Junior netkeeper Parsa Bonderson (Santa Barbara, San Marcos HS) tallied 10 saves, including four in the final period of play.
Who To Watch: A. Bailey was a force on both ends of the pool at Irvine, getting the job done by scoring goals and forcing turnovers. Also netting goals for the Bruins were last season's leading scorer and third-team All-American, Sean Kern (Honolulu, HI, Punahou HS), 1997 honorable mention All-American Adam Wright (Seal Beach, Wilson HS), who also tallied three field saves and three steals, and this season's senior co-captain, Eric Helfer (Honolulu, HI, Iolani HS). Goalie Bonderson, an Academic All-American, allowed the Anteaters only one man-up goal in four chances.