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UCLA Men’s Water Polo Opens Play with the UCLA Invitational

The Bruins start the season with a tripleheader at home.

Max Irving looks to be one of the Bruins’ top scorers this season.
Joe Piechowski

Let’s play three!

Sort of, at least. That’s what Ernie Banks might say if he were still alive and he took a look at the opening day of the UCLA Men’s Water Polo schedule.

Today, the Bruins open the season at 9 am PT with a game against Pomona-Pitzer to start the UCLA Invitational. Then, at 1 pm, UCLA gets back in the pool to face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Bruins then finish the day with an exhibition game against crosstown foe Southern Cal.

In between UCLA’s games against Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Southern Cal will also play both of those opponents.

This season, expect the team to be lead by seniors Max Irving and Alex Roelse.

Make no mistake. The Bruins lost a lot of talent to graduation. Eight seniors from last year’s squad won’t be back this year. I detailed that in our Season Preview yesterday where I also took a look at the incoming freshman.

That turnover leaves UCLA with some questions. Can this year’s team replace the production it lost from last year’s squad? Can the freshman contribute enough to push the team to the top?

Right now, the expectations are lower for the Bruins. The team has been picked to finish fourth in the MPSF and they are ranked 4th in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Coaches Poll, one point behind Stanford.

Can they have the same kind of season they did last season up until the final four games of the year? And, if so, will they be able to write a different ending this time?

We won’t know any of the answers to these questions until the season unfolds, but if there’s someone who can make it happen, it’s head coach Adam Wright.

Go Bruins!