The Bruins will be on the road for the rest of the year.
No. 4 UCLA men’s water polo (20-2, 1-1 MPSF) boasts a perfect home record at 8-0 after defeating No. 2 Stanford (17-2, 1-1) on Saturday. The Bruins will not have home-pool advantage, however, in their final regular season game, the MPSF championship and the NCAA championship.
Senior attacker Austin Rone said practicing and playing consistently will be key in upcoming games.
“Just consistency,” Rone said. “Being consistent through a week of training and being consistent through an entire game.”
The remaining matchups for UCLA will be hosted by No. 1 USC and Stanford.
UCLA has yet to play at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center this season, but went 5-0 last year. Wins came against Pacific, Cal and USC, including a victory in the 2017 National Championship Game over the Trojans.
The MPSF invitational was played at Avery Aquatic Center last month, with the Bruins finishing 3-1. UCLA defeated Santa Clara, then-No. 8 Pepperdine and then-No. 4 Cal. The loss came against then-No. 1 Stanford.
UCLA average 15 goals per game at home this season, compared to 10 goals per game on the road. The Bruins average 14.7 goals per game at neutral pools.
Coach Adam Wright said UCLA often struggles because of a lack of concentration.
“When we lose our focus, it’s not good,” Wright said. “Part of it is we get tired, but they’re tired too.”
Despite looming road matchups against top-ranked programs, sophomore attacker Chasen Travisano said the Bruins know how to prepare as the postseason arrives.
“(Big games) are all really emotional,” Travisano said. “We like to stay centered and stay focused. … Every week is just the same: same routine, same things to get you ready for each game.”
The same outcome has come for every home team within the MPSF.
In the eight conference games played among the “Big Four” teams – UCLA, USC, Stanford and Cal – the home team has won each one. All four teams hold a 1-1 record as they head into their final conference game before the MPSF tournament.
Wright knows his team must push forward when facing adversity.
“The band must go on no matter what the situation is,” Wright said.
The Bruins will have the opportunity to break the MPSF streak with a win on the road at USC on Saturday in the Crosstown Splashdown.