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No. 1 UCLA Men's Water Polo to Play Whittier, Pomona-Pitzer
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  10/19/2011

Oct. 19, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 UCLA men's water polo team will play two of its final three non-conference games this Saturday, facing Whittier and Pomona-Pitzer in Pomona, Calif. The Bruins will face Whittier at 1 p.m. and Pomona-Pitzer at 3:30 p.m.

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE
No. 1 UCLA (13-3) vs. Whittier (7-11)
Saturday, Oct. 22 - 1 p.m.
at Pomona-Pitzer's Haldeman Aquatics Center

No. 1 UCLA (13-3) at Pomona-Pitzer (5-13)
Saturday, Oct. 22 - 3:30 p.m.
at Pomona-Pitzer's Haldeman Aquatics Center

Bruins Are New Top-Ranked Team
Just days after defeating the nation's No. 1-ranked team (Stanford), UCLA was ranked No. 1 in the national poll released Wednesday, Oct. 19. The Bruins were last ranked as the sole No. 1 team in the Oct. 12, 2005 poll. UCLA shared the No. 1 ranking with USC on Dec. 2, 2009, after having won the MPSF Tournament title.

UCLA Completes 2-0 Weekend
The Bruins earned a crucial MPSF road win last Saturday, edging Stanford, 7-6. The next day, UCLA won at Santa Clara by a 12-9 margin. With the match against Stanford tied, 6-6, Griffin White scored the game-winning goal for UCLA with 4:07 to play in regulation. The Bruins secured their first win at Stanford since Sept. 17, 2006 (first MPSF victory at Stanford since 1999).

History Versus No. 1 Team
UCLA has won both its games against No. 1-ranked teams this year. After defeating then-No. 1 USC, 7-6, on Oct. 2, the Bruins secured a 7-6 win at then-No. 1 Stanford on Oct. 15. The win at Stanford was UCLA's first against the No. 1 team since Nov. 28, 2009, when UCLA defeated USC, 10-6, in the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament.

Samuels Leading the Way
Josh Samuels leads UCLA with 24 goals, having averaged 1.71 goals per match (ranks No. 13 among MPSF field players). The junior utility player has scored in 12 of 14 games played. UCLA ranks fourth in the MPSF in goals per game (12.13) and goals allowed per game (6.44).

Key Conference Matchups
While the Bruins do not play another MPSF match until Friday, Nov. 4 (at home, vs. Pacific), this weekend's slate features some key MPSF contests. This Friday, Stanford plays at Pacific and Pepperdine plays at California. Long Beach State hosts UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. USC plays at UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.

Analyzing the MPSF Field
With five weekends remaining before the MPSF Tournament, there is very little separation in the standings between the top five teams. USC leads the MPSF with a 3-0 mark. California, UCLA, Stanford and Pepperdine have gone 2-1. UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, Long Beach State and UC Irvine are seeking their first MPSF victory.

Bruins' Key Scorers
Four UCLA players - Josh Samuels (24), Brett Hays (22), Paul Reynolds (22) and Griffin White (21) - have each scored over 20 goals, midway through the 2011 campaign. Samuels, Hays and White lead the Bruins with six goals through the team's first three MPSF contests.

Who's in Goal for the Bruins?
Junior Matt Rapacz enters this weekend with 80 saves and a 7.01 goals against average (GAA). He has averaged 7.27 saves per four quarters, as the Bruins have gone 10-3 in his 13 starts. Sophomore James Hartshorne has logged 23 saves and a 2.67 GAA in seven games. Senior Andrew Mesesan has tallied 14 saves and a 6.50 GAA in five games (three starts).

UCLA's Schedule Breakdown
UCLA's three remaining home games will be played against Pacific (Nov. 4), USC (Nov. 18) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 19). In addition to these conference matches, the Bruins will host the MPSF Tournament (Nov. 25-27). This will mark the first season in which UCLA will host the MPSF Tournament at its home pool.


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