Members of No. 3 UCLA men’s water polo groups around their teammates in the pool at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament. The Bruins fell to No. 1 USC for the second time in as many weeks at the NCAA tournament semifinals Saturday. (Brandon Morquecho/Daily Bruin)
On a cold and wet afternoon in the Bay Area, the Bruins’ season came to a close.
No. 3 UCLA men’s water polo (22-5, 2-1 MPSF) fell to No.
Joseph CrosbyAssistant Sports editorPrediction: NCAA champion
The Bruins are coming off their worst stretch of games of the season.
At the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament semifinals, they allowed eight first-half goals against USC en route to a one-goal loss.
The Bruins are set to begin their quest for a second championship in three seasons.
No. 3 UCLA men’s water polo (22-4, 2-1 MPSF) will open its NCAA tournament run Saturday at Spieker Aquatics Complex in Berkeley, marking its 37th all-time appearance in the end-of-season bracket.
The Bruins opened their postseason with a season-high 25 goals in a dominant 24-point win.
But in their next two games, they scored a combined 17 goals in back-to-back losses, including a season-low six points Sunday.
After a double overtime comeback win against USC, the Bruins are set to start their postseason at the home of their rivals.
No. 3 seed UCLA men’s water polo (21-2, 2-1 MPSF) will face No.
Down three goals with 1:19 remaining on the clock, the Bruins’ fate appeared to be sealed.
Then redshirt sophomore attacker Gianpiero Di Martire dented the twine on three consecutive possessions in the final 1:05 of the game to force overtime.
Over 6,000 miles away from home, two brothers are learning how to adapt to life in a new country – together.
Originally hailing from Naples, Italy, Gianpiero and Massimo Di Martire each pursued different educational pathways after high school but eventually landed on American collegiate water polo teams.
The Bruins are on the verge of postseason play, but they must first get past their crosstown rivals.
No. 2 UCLA men’s water polo (20-2, 1-1 MPSF) plays its final game of the regular season Friday, hosting No.
After failing to score more than 10 points in its previous match, the Bruins managed to come back and nearly double their offensive production in the final road game of the regular season.
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