Dec. 2, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's water polo team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 and will face Loyola Marymount in a semifinal match on Saturday. The Bruins earned the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's automatic berth by winning the MPSF Tournament at USC last weekend. UCLA won its first MPSF Tournament title since 2000, earning victories against Pepperdine (8-5), USC (10-6) and California (10-7) on consecutive days.
NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, December 5
No. 1-seed USC vs. No. 4-seed Princeton, 12 p.m. (PT)
No. 2-seed UCLA vs. No. 3-seed Loyola Marymount, 2 p.m. (PT)
Sunday, December 6
Third-place game, 9 a.m. (PT)
First-place game, 11 a.m. (PT) - TV: CBS College Sports
WHERE TO WATCH
UCLA's semifinal match against Loyola Marymount can be viewed via live video streaming offered by NCAA.com. Click on the link below to access the Bruins' semifinal contest. Sunday's championship match will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports. Video Streaming - UCLA vs. Loyola Marymount
Tickets for the NCAA Tournament are available in two-day passes that will offer admission to the two national semifinals on Saturday and the consolation and championship games on Sunday. Saturday's slate will begin at 12 p.m. (PT) and Sunday's at 9 a.m. (PT). Two-day passes cost $40 for adults and $30 for children 14 years and under, as well as college students with a valid ID. These tickets will provide general admission access to the facility with seating and standing room available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be purchased by calling (609) 258-4TIX or visiting Princeton's Athletic Ticket Office in Jadwin Gymnasium.
UCLA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Bruins will make their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, having compiled a 50-22 overall record in 26 NCAA Tournaments. UCLA has won eight NCAA titles, with its most recent championship coming in 2004. The Bruins have reached the NCAA championship match in 14 of their 26 trips to the national tournament.
BACK TO PRINCETON
UCLA makes its second trip of the year to Princeton University. The Bruins opened their season at the Princeton Invite (Sept. 11-13), winning all five games in three days. UCLA's 17-4, season-opening victory against Princeton was televised nationally on ESPNU. A victory on Saturday against Loyola Marymount would send UCLA to the NCAA title match Sunday, to be televised live by CBS College Sports.
MPSF TOURNAMENT IN REVIEW
UCLA captured the 2009 MPSF Tournament title with a 10-7 victory over No. 3-seed California on Sunday, Nov. 29, at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium. Junior Ben Hohl led UCLA during the three-day tournament with nine goals. Senior Scott Davidson and freshman Josh Samuels each netted four goals at the MPSF Tournament. Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin registered 27 saves in three matches.
Senior attacker Scott Davidson has been honored as the MPSF Player of the Year, becoming the first Bruin to secure the MPSF's top honor since 2000 (Sean Kern). Davidson earned All-MPSF team honors for the second time in his career - a first-team selection this fall, he was named to a second-team selection in 2007. Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin and junior attacker Ben Hohl have been selected as second-team All-MPSF selections. Sophomore attacker Cullen Hennessy has been named an honorable mention.
Senior goalkeeper Chay Lapin broke UCLA's career saves record with a 13-save effort at USC in an MPSF Tournament semifinal match on Nov. 28. Lapin enters Saturday's match against Loyola Marymount having collected 707 career saves, seven more than former record-holder Brandon Brooks. Lapin's most successful single-game performance came in a 9-3 win at Long Beach State on Nov. 1, when the three-time All-MPSF selection netted 21 saves (highest single-game total on record at UCLA).
MPSF PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior Scott Davidson, this season's MPSF Player of the Year, enters the 2009 NCAA Tournament as UCLA's leading scorer. The native of Seal Beach, Calif., has totaled 42 goals in 28 matches, pushing his career total to 147 goals. With his two-goal effort in an 8-5 win over Pepperdine on Nov. 27, Davidson moved into sole possession of fifth place on UCLA's career goals scored list. Davidson has scored in 22 of the team's 28 matches, having registered 15 multiple-goal efforts this fall. He scored a season-high four goals against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 15.
A talented left-handed attacker from Atherton, Calif., junior Ben Hohl enters the NCAA Tournament having registered 37 goals, second-most on the team behind Scott Davidson. He led all UCLA players with nine goals in three MPSF Tournament games over the weekend, highlighted by a four-goal effort against USC in a semifinal match on Nov. 28. Hohl has played in all 80 matches since arriving in Westwood as a true freshman in 2007. He scored 27 goals that fall and 33 as a sophomore (2008).
Freshmen Josh Samuels and Griffin White have been among UCLA's top goal scorers all season. Samuels has registered 32 goals (third on team), the highest single-season total by a UCLA freshman since 2001, when Brett Ormsby logged 43 goals in his rookie campaign. Samuels led the Bruins with three goals in their MPSF Tournament title-clinching victory on Sunday. White has totaled 30 goals (fourth on team), having scored at least one goal in 12 of the team's last 16 matches.
Sophomore Cullen Hennessy has registered 23 goals (tied for fifth on the team) in 28 matches. The native of Fairfax, Calif., has scored in eight of UCLA's last nine games, including each of the last two MPSF Tournament matches. Among UCLA's fastest swimmers, Hennessy scored the game-winning goal against top-ranked USC with three seconds remaining to snap a 4-4 tie in a semifinal match at the NorCal Tournament (Sept. 20). He enters the NCAA Tournament having scored 37 goals in two seasons at UCLA.
GOALS FOR COLE
One of UCLA's five seniors, Cole Consani has emerged as one of the Bruins' most consistent scoring threats at the center position. The native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., is tied for fifth on the team with 23 goals in 28 matches. He had one goal in the fourth quarter of UCLA's 10-7 victory over California in the MPSF Tournament title match (Nov. 29). Consani has netted five multiple-goal efforts this season, highlighted by a trio of three-goal games.
The Bruins opened the season with a new head coach and home pool. Former two-time 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 is in his 14th season coaching the men's water polo team. UCLA opened its new home with a 10-4 non-conference victory over UC Irvine on Sept. 26.