The UCLA Men’s Water Polo Team (17-0) will look to break the all-time Bruin record for consecutive wins today in Stockton, California, when the squad hits the pool to face the University of the Pacific Tigers (12-3). Opening sprint is at 12 noon, PT. UCLA’s present streak is 50 consecutive wins, matching the streak set by Bruin teams of 1964 through 1968. Here are the details for the game:
Opponent: University of the Pacific Tigers
When: Saturday, October 8, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. PT
Where: Chris Kjeldsen Pool, Stockton, California
How to Follow: Live Stream; Live Stats
UCLA last battled Pacific two weeks ago, on September 24th, in the semi-final of the Mountain Pacific Invitational, with the Bruins taking the match, 8-5. The then-undefeated Tigers provided a tough test for UCLA, who trailed after one quarter, 2-1, and at the half, 4-3. The Bruins rallied in the third quarter, exploding for five goals to UoP’s one. Neither side scored in the fourth period, giving UCLA the gritty win.
The Bruins went on to win the Mountain Pacific Invitational Championship Game over UC Berkeley, and have since notched a shutout 11-0 win over UC Irvine and a 17-4 blow out of undermanned Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Pacific’s loss to UCLA started a three game losing streak for the Tigers, who went on to lose twice to #3 Southern Cal. The first was an 8-3 loss in the Mountain Pacific Invitational third place game and the second was a 15-7 loss in the Trojans’ pool.
Pacific has since bounced back from that skid with a gutty 9-8 overtime win at #8 Pepperdine last Sunday. Losses to the #1 and #3 teams in the nation have not affected Pacific much in the rankings, as the team still sits at #4 in the nation.
Today’s match has the Tigers and their fans thinking upset, and UoP’s recent history at home supports such thinking. The following is an excerpt from UoP’s article about today’s game from its official site:
[th]e Tigers have pulled five upsets over Top 5 teams at home in the last five years, including a win over then No. 1 USC in 2013. Pacific is 5-4 against Top 5 teams at home since 2013.
Given the tight game between these teams in a neutral pool two weeks ago and the Tigers’ propensity for winning big games at home, it should be quite the atmosphere today at Chris Kjeldsen Pool.
Thank you to Pacific for live streaming today’s contest. Maybe one day UCLA’s athletic department can get its act to together and do the same for the premier water polo program in the country.
This is your UCLA Men’s Water Polo versus University of Pacific open thread.