Tuesday, June 25

Men’s water polo season preview


Senior attacker Ben Hohl and the UCLA men's water polo team look to make it back to the NCAA Championship game this year.

Senior attacker Ben Hohl and the UCLA men's water polo team look to make it back to the NCAA Championship game this year. Daily Bruin file photo


SEASON OUTLOOK

Were it not for a disallowed Cullen Hennessy goal ““ one that replays had shown was good ““ in the NCAA Championship game, the Bruins might have been the ones jumping into the pool at the end of the game. With that in mind, this year’s team comes loaded with confidence and expectations for a ninth national championship. Gone is star goalie Chay Lapin and 2009 MPSF Player of the Year Scott Davidson, but the team returns the bulk of its attack. The 17-member recruiting class from last year, which saw many players redshirt as freshmen, will also arm the team with depth. Second-year coach Adam Wright knows one thing: to improve on last year’s finish, the Bruins have to bring an NCAA title back to Westwood.

2009 RECAP

A new era began for UCLA men’s water polo as longtime coach Adam Krikorian stepped down and was succeeded by Adam Wright, a former player and two-time NCAA champion who played for Krikorian. In Wright’s first year, UCLA cemented itself as a national contender, but was considered to be the fourth-best team in the country, firmly behind Stanford, USC and Cal ““ teams it had gone a collective 1-6 against during the regular season. That all changed during the MPSF Tournament, as the Bruins rolled off back-to-back victories over the Trojans and the Bears on their way to taking the conference championship and the automatic invitation to the four-team NCAA Tournament field. UCLA continued their surprise run by defeating Loyola Marymount in the NCAA semifinals, but fell short in the championship game, which it lost 7-6 to USC.

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