The No. 2 UCLA men's water polo team (7-0) will travel to Berkeley, Calif., to participate in the NorCal Invitational on Sept. 21-22.
Under the tutelage of fifth-year head coach Adam Wright, UCLA will open the two-day tournament with the first match, an 8:00 a.m. bout vs. No. 16 Concordia. Then the Bruins will face the winner or loser of the No. 6 UC Santa Barbara/No. 11 UC San Diego at either 2:00 p.m. or 3:25 p.m.
The Bruins are 4-0 all-time against Concordia, 51-1 against UC San Diego and 97-17-1 vs. UC Santa Barbara.
ABOUT THE NORCAL INVITATIONAL:
The NorCal Invitational features 16 teams, including all nine teams from the MPSF. Brackets B and C will play Saturday’s matches at Cal, while Brackets A and D compete at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Bracket A consists of No. 1 seed USC, No. 8 Pepperdine, No. 9 UC Irvine and DVC. Bracket B includes No. 2 seed UCLA, No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, No. 10 UC San Diego and No. 15 Concordia. Bracket C has No. 3 seed Cal, No. 6 Long Beach State, No. 11 Loyola Marymount and No. 14 Air Force. Bracket D features No. 4 Pacific, No. 5 Stanford, No. 12 UC Davis and No. 13 Santa Clara. The Bruins have finished second at the last five NorCal Invitationals (since 2008). Last year, UCLA opened with a 16-5 win over Concordia and then defeated Pacific 9-4 to advance to the semifinals. The Bruins rallied to an 11-10 double overtime victory over California. The Golden Bears led 7-5 heading into the fourth quarter. But the Bruins' defense pitched a shutout in the two overtime periods and Chris Fahlsing scored the only goal after regulation (at 1:34 of the first extra period) to get the Bruins off to their best start in 16 years at 11-0 (in 1996 UCLA opened the season 13-0). In the title game against No. 1 USC, the Bruins fell behind early, 5-0, but rallied to score six of the last eight goals. The Trojans hung on for a 7-6 decision.
OFF TO A HOT START:
Junior attacker Paul Reynolds (Santa Ana, Calif.) leads the Bruins in scoring with 17 goals (2.43 goals per game). He is currently shooting 53.1 percent (17-for-32) and is tied for the team lead in steals with 15 in seven games.
Senior center Lucas Reynolds (Newport Beach, Calif.) is currently second on the squad in scoring with 13 goals. He is shooting at an astronomical clip of 68.4 percent (13-for19) which is also second on the team.
McCLINTICK WITH THE SCORE AND THE ASSIST:
Sophomore utility Danny McClintick (Agoura Hills, Calif.) has had a hand in 28 goals (leads the team) with 10 goals (sixth on the team) and 18 assists (2.57 apg, second on the team). He scored a season-high four goals in the win over Whittier (Sept. 14).
Freshman Attacker Lovre Milos (Zagreb, Croatia) and freshman center Gordon Marshall (Newcastle, Australia) are currently third and fourth on the team in scoring, respectively. Milos has 12 goals while Marshall has 11 on the season. Both have scored at least one goal in each of their first seven games, joining a total of four Bruins that can boast that (Lucas Reynolds and Alec Zwaneveld are the other two). Marshall is tied for the team lead in field blocks (three) and leads the squad in exclusions drawn (11), while Milos is third on the team in assists (11) and is tied for fifth in steals (five).
MORE FRESHMEN MAKING AN IMPACT:
Several other freshmen are off to good starts in 2013. Freshman attacker Jack Fellner (Orinda, Calif.) has one goal and six assists and is tied for the team lead in steals with 15. He has had at least one steal in all seven games, including a team-high four in a win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Sept.7) and a win at No. 18 Redlands (Sept. 14).
Redshirt freshman center Alec Zwaneveld (La Cañada, Calif.) is tied for sixth on the team in scoring with 10 goals (66.7 percent, 10-for-15) and also has tallied five steals, five exclusions drawn and one assist. He is also one of four Bruins to have scored at least one goal in all seven games this season.
Freshman attacker Ryder Roberts (Vista, Calif.) has six goals and eight steals and leads the team in assists with 19 (2.7 apg).
STEADY AS THEY GO:
Senior defender Chris Wendt (River Forest, Ill.) has scored 11 goals (tied for fourth on the team) and is shooting a team-best 78.6 percent (11-for-14). He also has seven assists, six steals and three field blocks.
Junior attacker Daniel Lenhart (Yorba Linda, Calif.) has scored eight goals and is shooting 66.7 percent (8-for-12). He also has four steals and six assists.
Senior attacker Paul Pickell (Santa Ana, Calif.) has scored six goals and is shooting 66.7 percent (6-for-9). He also has two steals and one field block.
Junior attacker Christopher Meinhold (San Clemente, Calif.) has scored five goals and is shooting 62.5 percent (5-for-8). He also has four steals, five assists and two field blocks.
IN THE CAGE:
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Garrett Danner (Coto de Caza, Calif.) has made five starts and has played 11.0 quarters, racking up a team-high 28 saves, including a career-high 13 in the win over UC San Diego. He has a goals against average of 4.00.
Junior goalkeeper Stephen White (San Diego, Calif.) has made two starts and has played 9.5 quarters, registering 18 saves. He has a goals against average of 2.95.
Redshirt junior James Hartshorne (Irvine, Calif.) has played 7.5 quarters and has tallied 13 saves. He has a goals against average of 4.27.