NCAA Water Polo Champions 2015
No. 2 UCLA Men's Water Polo Hits the Road to Face No. 7 UC Santa Barbara

Nov. 12, 2008

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Friday, Nov. 7 - at UCLA

UCLA 12, UC Irvine 10 (MPSF contest)

Saturday, Nov. 8 - at UCLA
UCLA 17, Concordia 5

Sunday, Nov. 9 - at UCLA
UCLA 11, UC San Diego 8

Saturday, Nov. 15 - 12 p.m.

No. 2 UCLA (14-5, 4-2 MPSF) at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (15-8, 4-2 MPSF)
at UC Santa Barbara's Campus Pool

The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team plays at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. Game time at UC Santa Barbara's Campus Pool is slated for 12 p.m. UCLA has just two games remaining on its regular-season schedule - both matches are MPSF contests (also, at Pepperdine, Nov. 22).

With just two regular-season games remaining (both MPSF conference matches), UCLA finds itself in a three-way tie for third place in the conference standings. Sitting behind USC (7-0) and Stanford (5-1), the Bruins (4-2) are tied with Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara. UCLA has an opportunity to break the tie this weekend with a conference road match at UC Santa Barbara.

Through games played on Nov. 10, senior Krsto Sbutega ranks third among MPSF players with 2.16 goals per game (41 goals, 19 games). Junior goalkeeper Chay Lapin is fifth among MPSF goalkeepers with 9.39 saves per match (169 saves, 18 games). Lapin's 5.89 goals against average this fall ranks fourth in the conference. Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, UCLA has allowed the third-fewest goals per game (6.21) of any MPSF team.

Two players have netted five goals in a match this fall - Krsto Sbutega (at UC Irvine, Sept. 13) and Scott Davidson (at Pacific, Oct. 26). The last Bruin to score six or more in a game was David Pietsch, who tallied six goals in a 10-8 win over UC Irvine (Oct. 1, 2005). Sbutega has scored four goals twice this season, and Davidson and Ben Hohl have each recorded one four-goal game.

Senior Krsto Sbutega and junior Chay Lapin have been honored this fall as MPSF Co-Players of the Week. Sbutega has earned the honor twice this fall - once after scoring a career-high five goals in UCLA's 10-4 win at UC Irvine (Sept. 13) and again after logging six goals through two MPSF road wins the final weekend of October (Oct. 25, 26). Lapin captured weekly honors after having tied his career high with 15 saves in a 10-4 win against Long Beach State (Oct. 4).

UCLA's offense has been led by senior Krsto Sbutega (41 goals), junior Scott Davidson (25) and sophomore Ben Hohl (25). Sbutega has scored 134 career goals, moving into seventh place on the program's career goals scored list (four behind current assistant coach Adam Wright). Davidson scored one goal in each of the team's first six matches and logged a season-high five goals at Pacific (Oct. 26). Hohl has registered seven goals in the Bruins' last three games, all home victories.

Jacob Murphy has turned in a solid sophomore campaign, patrolling the two-meter position as one of UCLA's top utility players. Murphy currently ranks fifth on the team with 16 goals in 19 matches. Cullen Hennessy and Matt Preciado have impressed in their freshman campaigns in 2008. Hennessy, a speedy attacker from Fairfax, Calif., has tallied 12 goals. Preciado, a 6-foot-4 center from Murrieta City, Calif., has totaled 10 goals this fall.

As released on Wednesday, Nov. 12, UCLA has been ranked second in the nation. USC has earned the top slot this week, as the top five selections are rounded out by MPSF competitors Stanford, California and Pepperdine. The top 10 includes, from slots six through 10 (in order), Loyola Marymount, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Irvine and Long Beach State. This week's poll marks the fourth week this fall in which the Bruins have been ranked as high as No. 2, nationally.

Junior Chay Lapin has recorded 169 saves in 18 matches, logging 10 saves or more in 11 matches. At the NorCal Tournament, Lapin made 45 stops in four games, allowing just 4.5 goals per game. Against Long Beach State (Oct. 4), Lapin tied his career high with 15 saves in a 10-4 victory. Freshman Andrew Mesesan and junior Alex Lawrence have made seven and six saves, respectively.

UCLA has two regular-season contests remaining before entering postseason play. Following two MPSF road games against UC Santa Barbara this Saturday and Pepperdine on Nov. 22, the Bruins will return to Pepperdine for the 2008 MPSF Tournament (Nov. 28-30). All MPSF Tournament games will be played at Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. The winner of the MPSF Tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament (at Stanford, Dec. 6-7).

In his 10th season as head coach at UCLA, Adam Krikorian has tallied a 190-59 record. A four-year letterwinner and 1997 UCLA graduate, Krikoriam has been a part of 14 national championships in 16 seasons with the water polo program. As head coach of the men's and women's programs, Krikorian has guided UCLA to 10 national titles (three men's, seven women's). Krikorian led the Bruins to three national titles as an assistant coach and one as a player (1995).

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