Men’s water polo to play UCSB in last regular season match before MPSF playoffs


Men's water polo looks to claim last regular season match, final game of inaugural year

Redshirt sophomore attacker Cullen Hennessy and the Bruins look to close out the regular season on a positive note at home against UC Santa Barbara Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center, where the Bruins are 3-2 so far this season.

Redshirt sophomore attacker Cullen Hennessy and the Bruins look to close out the regular season on a positive note at home against UC Santa Barbara Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center, where the Bruins are 3-2 so far this season. Kimberly Lajcik


With just one regular season game remaining, the UCLA men’s water polo team has a couple things on its agenda.

One point of emphasis is ensuring an above .500 conference record: For the Bruins, a win over conference rival UCSB on Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center would achieve that mark.

Perhaps more importantly, No. 4 UCLA (18-6, 4-3 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) will look to sharpen its execution in preparation for the MPSF playoffs to be held at the end of November.

The match will come at the conclusion of a busy weekend for No. 10 UCSB (12-11, 1-4), which plays UC Irvine on Saturday in Santa Barbara before making the trip down to Westwood the next day. UCSB’s season has been marked by inconsistency, with the Gauchos registering two big wins over Pepperdine and losing to No. 1 USC by just two goals at one point but also falling to those same Trojans by double-digit goals in two separate meetings.

For UCLA, the game comes on the heels of a thrilling 7-6 defeat at the hands of USC a week ago. In that game, the Bruins and Trojans played virtually even for the entire match before USC got a goal in the final minute to break a tie and grab the victory.

Although they lost that game, the Bruins felt that there was plenty of material that they could take out of the showdown with USC and apply to this weekend and beyond.

“We have a few weeks left now, and we’re excited,” UCLA redshirt sophomore attacker Cullen Hennessy said. “I think we’ve taken a lot of steps forward in the past few weeks. We’re going to take more in the weeks to come.”

With just the one game left before MPSF playoffs, it is paramount that UCLA generate some momentum heading into what shapes up to be a brutal postseason schedule.

A year ago, the Bruins lost to Pepperdine 9-5 in the last regular season game of the year before finishing fourth in the MPSF playoffs and failing to qualify for the national tournament.

The match will also serve as the Bruins’ final game in the inaugural season at Spieker Aquatics Center, where the squad has gone 3-2 thus far.

With fourth place in the conference firmly locked up, the Bruins know that their next opponent will likely be either Pepperdine or UC Irvine. UCSB would also have an outside shot to force a rematch with the Bruins if they are able to win out.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit


Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.