No. 2 UCLA Men's Water Polo to Host No. 7 UC Irvine on Saturday

Sept. 24, 2009

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LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team will host the first ever athletics event at the University's new, state-of-the-art Spieker Aquatics Center when the Bruins host No. 7 UC Irvine on Saturday. The non-conference tilt is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. under the lights. An audio broadcast will be available for free at uclabruins.com

NO. 7 UC IRVINE (6-2) at NO. 2 UCLA (8-1)
Saturday, Sept. 26 - 7 p.m.

at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center

A LOOK BACK
UCLA won its first eight games before dropping a 6-5 decision at Stanford in the NorCal Tournament's first-place match. The Bruins won all five games at the Princeton Invitational (Sept. 11-13). UCLA won its first two games on day one at the NorCal Tournament before upsetting then-No. 1 USC by a 5-4 margin in the semifinal match. The Bruins reeled off their first 8-0 start since 1996, when they began the year 13-0.

SEASONED FRESHMAN
Freshman utility player Josh Samuels has excelled in his first nine games playing collegiate water polo. The native of Villa Park, Calif., currently leads the Bruins with 15 goals in nine matches. Samuels has scored at least one goal in eight of UCLA's nine games and registered a season-high four goals against Iona at the Princeton Invitational on Sept. 12.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior center Cole Consani earned MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors after scoring 11 goals in five matches at the Princeton Invitational. The resident of Manhattan Beach, Calif., tied for UCLA's team lead that weekend with 11 goals (with Josh Samuels). Consani earned the weekly honor with UC Irvine's Greg Enloe, securing MPSF Co-Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.

NEW ERA
The Bruins opened their season with a new head coach and will open a state-of-the-art aquatics facility, Spieker Aquatics Center, on Saturday. Former Olympian Adam Wright, a four-year UCLA water polo letterwinner (1997-2000), was named head coach in the offseason and works with Adam Krikorian, associate head coach who enters his 14th season coaching the men's water polo team.

IN THE CAGE
Senior Chay Lapin has recorded 48 saves in nine matches, having played in 18 quarters for UCLA this fall. Lapin currently boasts a 3.33 goals against average. Freshman Matt Rapacz made his collegiate debut in UCLA's season opener at Princeton on Sept. 11. Rapacz finished the five-game tournament having notched 24 saves and allowed 13 goals in 10 quarters. Collectively, UCLA's goalkeepers have registered a 4.78 goals against average, the second-lowest mark in the nation.

DON'T BE OFFENDED
UCLA returns over 72 percent of its scoring output from one season ago. The Bruins' returning letterwinners account for 161 of the team's 222 goals (72.5 pct) from the 2008 campaign. Aside from the loss of leading scorer Krsto Sbutega (50), the Bruins welcome back the return of key attackers Scott Davidson (34), Ben Hohl (33), Jacob Murphy (21), Scott Swanson (18) and Cullen Hennessy (14).

MURPHY'S LAW
Junior center Jacob Murphy made significant strides as a sophomore in 2008, having collected 21 saves in 53 attempts, primarily from the two-meter position. He finished fourth on the team in goals scored before securing MPSF All-Academic Team honors. Murphy spent the summer of 2009 playing for the United States on a team of collegiate players at the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

BIG BEN
Among UCLA's most consistent scoring threats the last two seasons, junior Ben Hohl has played in all 52 matches since arriving in Westwood as a true freshman in 2007. The native of Atherton, Calif., scored 27 goals on 61 attempts as a freshman (2007) before recording 33 goals on 78 attempts as a sophomore (2008). Hohl has registered 71 career goals in just over two full seasons at UCLA.

FRESH CLASS
UCLA welcomes 19 newcomers, including 17 true freshmen, to the program this season. Among one of UCLA's largest recruiting classes in recent years, head coach Adam Wright looks for several true freshmen to contribute from the start. The Bruins welcome CIF Southern Section Player of the Year selections Griffin White (Division I) and Josh Samuels (Division II), in addition to five first-team All-CIF selections and three-time All-Illinois state selection Chris Wendt.

NATIONAL RANKINGS
As released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) on Sept. 16, UCLA has been tabbed No. 2 in the national top-20 water polo rankings. Stanford has claimed the No. 1 spot after having won the NorCal Tournament (Sept. 19-20). USC, California and Loyola Marymount round out the poll's top five teams, respectively. Following Loyola Marymount, in order, is UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Pepperdine, Long Beach State and Santa Clara.

GRAND OPENING
UCLA's home schedule opens when the Bruins take on UC Irvine on Saturday, Sept. 26. That contest will mark the first major athletic event to take place at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center, located adjacent to Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Prior to the game against UC Irvine, the UCLA athletic department will honor several of the key benefactors of the new, state-of-the-art aquatics facility.

HOME SWEET HOME
In addition to hosting UC Irvine on Sept. 26, the Bruins will play five other home matches this fall. UCLA hosts California in its first MPSF contest at Spieker Aquatics Center on Oct. 16. The Bruins will play a doubleheader against Pacific and Chapman on Oct. 25. UCLA concludes its regular season schedule with back-to-back home MPSF matches - versus USC (Nov. 7) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 15).


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Sep 05 - 9:20 AM PST
vs. UC Davis
San Diego, CA
Saturday, Sep 05 - 1:20 PM PST
vs. UC Irvine
San Diego, CA
Sunday, Sep 06 - 8:30 AM PST
vs. Concordia
San Diego, CA
Sunday, Sep 06 - 1:50 PM PST
vs. Pepperdine
San Diego, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 8:00 AM PST
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 11:45 AM PST
vs. UC San Diego
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 2:15 PM PST
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 12 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Sep 13 - 10:20 AM PST
at Redlands
Redlands, CA
Sunday, Sep 13 - 12:00 PM PST
vs. Whittier
Redlands, CA
Saturday, Sep 19 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Saturday, Sep 19 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Sep 20 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Sep 20 - TBA PST
vs. NorCal Tournament
Stanford, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 11:00 AM PST
vs. ...
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Chapman
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Sep 26 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Alumni Match
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 02 - 4:00 PM PST
at Pepperdine
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 03 - 12:00 PM PST
at Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Oct 10 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 10 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Sunday, Oct 11 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Sunday, Oct 11 - TBA PST
vs. SoCal Tournament
Malibu, CA
Saturday, Oct 17 - TBA PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Oct 18 - 2:00 PM PST
at San Jose State
San Jose, CA
Saturday, Oct 24 - TBA PST
vs. California
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Oct 25 - 2:00 PM PST
at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
Sunday, Nov 01 - 1:00 PM PST
vs. Pacific
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 06 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 08 - 12:00 PM PST
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
Sunday, Nov 15 - TBA PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 20 - TBA PST
vs. MPSF Quarterfinals
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Nov 21 - TBA PST
vs. MPSF Semifinals
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 22 - 3:00 PM PST
vs. MPSF Championships - ...
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 22 - 4:30 PM PST
vs. MPSF Championships - ...
Los Angeles, CA
BRUINS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS