Nov. 23, 2011
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team enters the MPSF Tournament at home this weekend as the No. 3 seed. The Bruins (20-4) open their touranment schedule with a first-round match Friday against No. 6-seed Pepperdine (12-11). Game time against Pepperdine is 1:30 p.m.
2011 MPSF REGULAR-SEASON STANDINGS (FINAL)
|No.||Team||MPSF||MPSF Pct.||Overall||Overall Pct.|
|5||UC Santa Barbara||3-5||.375||15-10||.600|
|9||Long Beach State||1-7||.125||16-10||.615|
2011 MPSF TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
|Game 1||Friday, Nov. 25||10:00 a.m.||(1) USC vs. (8) Pacific|
|Game 2||Friday, Nov. 25||11:30 a.m.||(2) California vs. (7) UC Irvine|
|Game 3||Friday, Nov. 25||1:30 p.m.||(3) UCLA vs. (6) Pepperdine|
|Game 4||Friday, Nov. 25||3:00 p.m.||(4) Stanford vs. (5) UC Santa Barbara|
|Game 5||Saturday, Nov. 26||10:00 a.m.||Losers of Games 1 and 4|
|Game 6||Saturday, Nov. 26||11:30 a.m.||Losers of Games 2 and 3|
|Game 7||Saturday, Nov. 26||1:30 p.m.||Winners of Games 1 and 4 (semifinal)|
|Game 8||Saturday, Nov. 26||3:00 p.m.||Winners of Games 2 and 3 (semifinal)|
|Game 9||Sunday, Nov. 27||10:00 a.m.||Losers of Games 5 and 6 (7th place)|
|Game 10||Sunday, Nov. 27||11:30 a.m.||Winners of Games 5 and 6 (5th place)|
|Game 11||Sunday, Nov. 27||1:30 p.m.||Losers of Games 7 and 8 (3rd place)|
|Game 12||Sunday, Nov. 27||3:00 p.m.||Winners of Games 7 and 8 (1st place)|
About the MPSF Tournament
The conference's top eight teams will play a three-day tournament at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center (Nov. 25-27) this weekend with the champion earning the MPSF's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, to be hosted at California on Dec. 3-4.
UCLA Against Pepperdine
UCLA opens the MPSF Tournament against Pepperdine on Friday. The Bruins went 2-0 against the Waves this season (11-7 on Sept. 23 at home, 9-6 on Nov. 12 on the road). Griffin White was UCLA's key scorer in both games, netting three goals on Sept. 23 before adding five in the MPSF match between the two teams on Nov. 12.
Recapping UCLA's Last Weekend
The Bruins closed their regular-season schedule last weekend, splitting a pair of games against USC and UC Santa Barbara. Playing at home before a capacity crowd under the lights against USC, UCLA dropped a 9-6 decision. The following afternoon, UCLA received a game-high three goals from Paul Reynolds to defeat UC Santa Barbara, 11-4, at Spieker Aquatics Center.
Follow the Tournament Online
UCLA is providing a multitude of avenues for fans to follow the MPSF Tournament online. A live video feed of all 12 matches will be available at uclabruins.com, while audio broadcasts of four first-round games, two semifinals and the final two matches on Sunday will also be streamed on uclabruins.com. Live in-game score updates will be available through the program's Twitter page (twitter.com/UCLAWaterPolo).
Who's Leading the Bruins?
Junior Josh Samuels enters the tournament having totaled a team-best 43 goals and 37 steals. He ranks seventh among MPSF players with a 1.95 goals per match average. Senior Cullen Hennessy leads the Bruins with 32 assists and ranks fourth with 16 steals. Sophomore Aimone Barabino has collected a team-leading 58 earned exclusions, while senior Brett Hays ranks second in that category with 40.
Glancing at This Year's Field
UCLA earned the No. 3 seed in the MPSF Tournament after going 6-2 in conference games. USC secured the top seed among MPSF teams, posting an 8-0 record in conference matches. California has been tabbed the No. 2 seed, with the Golden Bears' only MPSF loss coming to USC. Stanford is the No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 seed UC Santa Barbara in a first-round match. Pepperdine, UC Irvine and Pacific tied for sixth place, while Long Beach State missed the tournament by finishing last.
Wright, Lapin Strike Gold for USA
Head coach Adam Wright and former UCLA goalkeeping standout Chay Lapin played for the United States Men's National Team at the Pan American Games in Guadajalara, Mexico (late October), leading Team USA to the gold medal and clinching a berth to the 2012 Olympics. Wright played for Team USA at the 2004 (7th place) and 2008 Olympics (silver medal).
UCLA's Tournament History
UCLA has won the MPSF Tournament title three times since the conference's first tournament in 1992. The Bruins captured the championship most recently in 2009. Previously, UCLA won the MPSF Tournament title in 2000 and 1999. UCLA last advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and last won the national title in 2004. This season, UC San Diego and Princeton have earned automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.