Nov. 29, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Seven UCLA men's water polo players have secured All-MPSF Team honors, as announced by the conference office Tuesday. Cullen Hennessy, Matt Rapacz, Josh Samuels and Griffin White highlight UCLA's honorees as second-team selections.
Aimone Barabino, Cristiano Mirarchi and Paul Reynolds claimed honorable mention All-MPSF Team accolades. Hennessy and Mirarchi are the only Bruins to have earned a repeat selection. Hennessy secured honorable mention status in 2009 and 2010. Mirarchi was an honorable mention selection in 2010.
UCLA's seven all-conference selections were more than any other MPSF program.
Hennessy, one of UCLA's three fifth-year seniors, enters this weekend's NCAA Tournament having scored 18 goals and tallied a team-leading 36 assists. He scored the game-winning goal with 10 seconds left in overtime in UCLA's 5-4 win against Pepperdine in the first round of the MPSF Tournament.
Rapacz, a junior goalkeeper in his first season as UCLA's regular starter, ranks fourth among MPSF goalkeepers with a 7.09 goals against average. He has totaled 173 saves, averaging 8.76 saves per contest. Over the weekend, he captured MVP honors at the MPSF Tournament after having logged 31 saves in UCLA's three overtime wins.
Samuels, a junior utility player from Villa Park, Calif., leads the Bruins with 46 goals and 45 steals. He ranks eighth among MPSF players with 1.84 goals scored per game. Samuels scored one goal in each of UCLA's matches at last weekend's MPSF Tournament and earned All-MPSF Tournament Team acclaim.
White, a junior attacker from Mission Viejo, Calif., ranks second on the team with 43 goals and third with 22 steals. White's 1.59 goals per game average is 15th among MPSF players. He has scored at least one goal in nine of UCLA's last games, totaling 20 goals in that span. White led the Bruins with five goals in the MPSF Touranment, securing All-Tournament Team honors.
Barabino, a sophomore utility player from Recco, Italy, has scored 15 goals and tallied a team-best 70 earned exclusions. In Sunday's 10-9 win over USC in the MPSF Championship match, Barabino drew seven earned exclusions from the two-meter position.
Mirarchi, a sophomore attacker from Rome, Italy, enters the NCAA Tournament having scored 10 goals and having registered 14 assists. He has twice scored UCLA's game-winning goal in sudden-victory overtime this season - against Pacific in an MPSF home match (Nov. 4) and versus USC in the MPSF Tournament title match (Nov. 27).
Reynolds, a freshman from Santa Ana, Calif., has tallied 35 goals, the third-highest total on the team. In addition, Reynolds ranks second on the team with 25 steals and 15 field blocks. He ranks fourth among freshmen in the MPSF with a 1.30 goals per game average.
USC goalkeeper Joel Dennerley earned MPSF Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. Stanford freshman Alex Bowen secured MPSF Newcomer of the Year acclaim.
UCLA enters the upcoming NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face No. 3-seed UC San Diego on Saturday, Dec. 3. Game time at California's Spieker Aquatic Complex is 3 p.m. No. 1-seed USC will take on No. 4-seed Princeton in the other semifinal match Saturday at 1 p.m.