The #1 ranked UCLA Men’s Water Polo team (14-0) notched two victories yesterday, setting the stage for the Mountain Pacific Invitational final today against #3 UC Berkeley at the Golden Bears’ home pool. UCLA’s winning streak is now at 47.
Yesterday morning, the Bruins beat #8 Pepperdine, 11-5, on the strength of a four goal effort from senior Patrick Fellner. The victory earned UCLA a spot in the semi-finals.
In the afternoon semi-final match up against #4 Pacific, the Bruins came out of the gate slowly, trailing 2-1 after the 1st quarter and 4-3 at the half. UCLA, however, exploded for five goals in the 3rd quarter, and put away the Tigers, 8-5, to advance to today’s final. Fellner had another four goals against UoP, including three in the crucial 3rd quarter.
The Golden Bears (11-0) beat #6 UC Santa Barbara yesterday afternoon, 15-8, to advance to the semi-finals against #2 Southern Cal. In the evening contest, UC Berkeley got off to an 8-3 lead going into the 4th quarter, and held off the Trojans, 10-8, to advance to the final against UCLA.
Today’s game at 2:30 p.m. PT should be an exciting clash between two undefeated teams. UC Berkeley has the home pool advantage, but the Bruins have not lost to the Golden Bears since 2012. In their last two battles, the Bruins have beaten UC Berkeley by only one goal, so the talent gap is slender. UC Berkeley will be motivated to beat UCLA in their home pool.
This is your UCLA Men's Water Polo v. UC Berkeley open thread. Go Bruins!