Oct. 1, 2001
UCLA THIS WEEK: The third-ranked UCLA Bruins (4-1, 2-0 MPSF) conclude their three-match homestand by hosting No. 2 USC (3-1, 3-1) in an important Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men's water polo matchup. Game time is set for Saturday at 12 p.m. at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Then on Sunday, the Bruins host their annual alumni match at 11 a.m. Admission to both matches is free.
LAST WEEKEND: UCLA split a pair of home encounters over the weekend. Saturday, the Bruins demolished tenth-ranked Pacific 15-5 in an MPSF league match. Senior two-meter Alfonso Tucay (Burbank/Burroughs) led the team with three scores, while freshman driver Peter Belden (Newport Beach/Newport Harbor) scored his first two collegiate goals and dished out a team-high four assists.
Sunday's match was one of the most memorable regular-season matchups in recent memory. A capacity crowd of 750 attended the non-conference match between the Bruins and No. 1 Stanford, with bands from both schools making a rare appearance poolside. Stanford freshman phenom Tony Azevado, a leading member of the U.S. National Team, scored three goals to lead the Cardinal to a 10-6 victory. Bruin freshman Brett Ormsby (El Cajon/Valhalla) also registered three goals, but the Cardinal established a 5-2 halftime lead, then sealed the win with two breakaway goals in the third quarter.
UCLA vs. USC: The schedule doesn't get any easier this weekend. Both the Bruins and the Trojans were handed their first loss of the season by Stanford, with USC's defeat coming in a conference counter.
UCLA leads the all-time series between the teams 58-55-1. Last year, the Bruins won all three matches in the pool, but later forfeited two of those victories - the league match on Oct. 7, and the NorCal Tournament final on Oct. 22. In the final tuneup before last season's playoffs, UCLA defeated the Trojans 6-5.
Led by coach Jovan Vavic, USC features six athletes from Yugoslavia and Israel. Sophomore Predrag Damjanov and seniors Ivan Babic and Nenad Praporski, all natives of Belgrade, have scored the majority of the team's key goals so far in 2001. The Trojans won each of their first three conference matches in overtime by one goal. Then on Saturday, USC dropped a 10-5 decision at home to Stanford.
BRUIN NOTES: The 10 goals UCLA surrendered to Stanford was the most since the final of the 1999 MPSF Tournament, a match won by UCLA 12-11 in overtime ... Stanford's victory broke the Bruins' 10-match winning streak, which dated back to last season ... Ormsby leads UCLA with 13 goals, while two-meter defender Matt Flesher (Jr., Diamond Bar/Brea Olinda) has a team-high eight assists and is second with eight goals ... Junior goalkeeper Brandon Brooks (Honolulu, HI/Punahou) saw his goals-against average rise from 4.00 to 5.33, which would still be the second-best single-season mark in Bruin history ... UCLA has outscored its first five opponents by a 50-27 margin.