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Bruin Men's Water Polo Racks Up Post-Season Accolades
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  12/23/1999

Dec. 23, 1999

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Post-season accolades continue to roll in for the 1999 NCAA men's water polo champion UCLA Bruins, as co-head coach Guy Baker was named NCAA Coach of the Year and junior Sean Kern was named the Player of the Year, the American Water Polo Coaches Association announced yesterday. Senior Matt Armato, junior Adam Wright, junior Brian Brown, junior Blake Wellen and true freshman Brandon Brooks earned All-America team honors as well.

Baker culminated his ninth year at the helm of the UCLA water polo program with his third NCAA men's title in the past five years and UCLA's first league title since 1975. He guided the Bruins to back-to-back titles in 1995 and '96. Every year since '95, either the UCLA men's or women's teams have captured a national title under Baker's tutelage. UCLA is also the first water polo program to win men's and women's crowns in the same year, a feat the Bruins accomplished two years in a row (95-96, 96-97).

Kern (Honolulu, Hawaii/ Punahou HS) also earned NCAA first-team All-America honors to go along with his Player of the Year nod. He was the NCAA tournament's Most Valuable Player, after scoring four crucial points in each of the Bruins' games vs. Massachusetts (semifinal) and Stanford (final). Kern also earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first-team all-conference honors and was named to the MPSF all-tournament team after scoring 12 points in three games during the conference championship. Kern, earning his third All-America selection in as many years, led the Bruins in scoring this year with a career-high 55 points.

Senior Matt Armato (Long Beach, Calif./ Wilson HS) joined Kern as a first-team All-American. Also an All-American in 1997, Armato entered the Bruin record books this season, tying a school record for two-point goals in a season (six) and setting a new UCLA record for two-point goals in a career (13). One of the team's co-captains, Armato was named to the All-NCAA tournament first team and the MPSF championship tournament's Most Valuable Player. He ended the season third in team scoring with 42 points.

Junior Adam Wright (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson HS) earned third-team All-America honors this season, the third All-America selection of his career. The other co-captain, Wright finished the season with a career-high 48 points. He was also a MPSF second-team all-conference selection and a MPSF All-Tournament team honoree.

Named to the NCAA All-America honorable mention team were junior Brian Brown (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill HS), junior Blake Wellen (Mill Valley, Calif./Tamalpais HS) and true freshman Brandon Brooks (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou HS). Brown earned his first ever All-America selection and finished the season with 32 points including four two-pointers. He was also a MPSF third-team all-conference selection.

Wellen also earned NCAA all-tournament second-team honors and was a MPSF honorable mention selection as well. Wellen scored the game-winning goal with just one second left in double overtime, after scoring the game-tying goal just 56 seconds prior, giving UCLA the 12-11 victory over Stanford in the MPSF championship game.

Brooks, now playing on the UCLA men's basketball team, had an outstanding freshman season after taking over as the starting goalkeeper midway through the year. Brooks also earned NCAA all-tournament second team honors and finished the season second in the MPSF with 5.77 points allowed per game.

1999 NCAA MEN'S WATER POLO ALL-AMERICAN TEAM

Coach of the Year: Guy Baker, UCLA
Player of the Year: Sean Kern, UCLA

First Team
Sean Kern, UCLA
Matt Armato, UCLA
Allen Basso, USC
Brian Heifferon, Stanford
Jerry Smith, California
Gabe Esposto, Pacific
Nick Ellis, Goalie, Stanford.

Second Team
Sean Joy, Stanford
Pat Kain, Massachusetts
Greg Lonzo, Pepperdine
Tom Coughlan, UC Santa Barbara
Pat Cochran, Long Beach State
Oliver Djordjevic, Saint Francis
Richard McEvoy, Goalie, USC.


Third Team
Adam Wright, UCLA
Peter Janov, USC
Albert Won, California
Burak Incecam, Queens College
George Csaszar, USC
Patrick Donlin, Pacific
Richard Huntley, Goalie, Massachusetts.


Honorable Mention Team
Brian Brown, UCLA
Blake Wellen, UCLA
Brandon Brooks, Goalie, UCLA
Jason Pace, Navy
Casey Wood, Air Force
Andy Walburger, Stanford
Chris Segesman, Long Beach State
Ross Mecham, UC San Diego
Chris Gratian, Princeton
Kevin Foster, Princeton
Sean Hylton, Pepperdine
Tony Grosso, UC Irvine
Taj Jenson, Redlands
Trevor Spence, Goalie, UC Santa Barbara
Ivan Babic, USC
Csaba Biro, Saint Francis.


‹ UCLA Men's Water Polo



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