When I last wrote an article on UCLA men’s water polo, the Bruins were still undefeated and ranked second in the country. Since then, UCLA defeated San Jose State as well as Santa Clara and Pepperdine in the first two games of the Mountain Pacific Invitational.
UCLA lost their first game of the season in the semifinal of that tournament when Stanford scored the last-second goal to win 8-7.
That sent UCLA to play in the third place game the next day and the Bruins won a hard-fought game against UC Berkeley by a score of 12-11. That was nearly two weeks ago.
This afternoon, UCLA opens up MPSF play with a rematch against the Golden Bears. While the game two weeks ago was up in the Bay Area, it was on the campus of Stanford. Today’s game is a home game for UC Berkeley and the Bears are always tough to beat at home.
So, the Bruins will have their work cut out for them this afternoon. The good news is that UCLA is coming off a bye week. So, they’ve had a few weeks to prep for the real regular season against their Pac-12 & MPSF rivals, whom they will face over the next three weeks.
These next three games will determine seeding for the MPSF Tournament which begins on November 16th and it will also affect the NCAA Tournament which starts December 1. So, it’s time for the Bruins to focus and, more importantly, win.