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No. 2 UCLA Closes Out Regular Season at No. 3 Stanford

Feb 19, 2021
Redshirt junior Evan Rosenfeld has five goals this season for the Bruins.

2020-21 Information Guide

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LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA (5-3, 4-3 MPSF) heads to the Bay Area to compete in the Stanford Round Robin on Feb. 20-21. The Bruins will open with No. 3 Stanford (1-2, 1-2 MPSF) on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10:00 a.m. PT. UCLA will begin play on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 a.m. PT against No. 1 California (5-2, 5-2 MPSF). The Bruins will close out the round robin tournament with No. 4 USC (3-5, 2-5 MPSF) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. PT at Avery Aquatic Center. Stanford will stream only the games they are playing in, but live stats will be provided for all games (links provided below).

SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
Saturday, February 20 (Stanford, Calif. – Avery Aquatic Center)
10:00 AM PT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 3 Stanford LIVE STREAM | LIVE STATS

Sunday, February 21 (Stanford, Calif. – Avery Aquatic Center)
10:00 AM PT – No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 1 California LIVE STATS
3:30 PM PT – No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 4 USC LIVE STATS

SERIES HISTORY
This is 162nd meeting all-time between UCLA and California with the Bruins holding a 90-70-1 (.562) lead in the series. UCLA split a pair of games to open the 2020-21 season in Berkeley, Calif., falling to the Golden Bears on Jan. 23 by a score of 17-16 in overtime. UCLA responded the following day to post a 10-7 victory. In the last meeting, the Golden Bears once again prevailed in overtime, 11-8, on Feb. 6 at the USC Round Robin.

This is the 176th meeting all-time between UCLA and USC with the Bruins holding an 89-85-1 (.511) series edge. UCLA split a pair of games to open the 2020-21 season in Berkeley, Calif., falling to the Trojans on Jan. 23 by a score of 12-7. UCLA rebounded the following day to post an 11-8 victory. The Bruins also posted a 7-5 win at USC on Feb. 7 in their last outing.

This is the 163rd meeting all-time between UCLA and Stanford with the Cardinal holding an 88-74 (.457) lead in the series. UCLA lost all three meetings last year, falling to Stanford in the title game of the SoCal Invitational, 13-9, on Sept. 29. The Cardinal then posted a 17-11 win at home over the Bruins in the final regular season game on Nov. 16. Stanford would complete the season sweep in the semifinals of the MPSF Championship in Berkeley, Calif., with a 16-15 win in overtime on Nov. 23. The Bruins ended their three-game losing skid by taking down the defending NCAA Champions, 15-13, on Feb. 7 at the USC Round Robin.

SAVELJIC NAMED MPSF/KAP7 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Nicolas Saveljic (Kotor, Montenegro/Maritime School Kotor) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Player of the Week on Feb. 8 by the league office. Saveljic led all MPSF players in goals (11) and total points (12) this week at the USC Round Robin as the Bruins finished the weekend with victories over No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 USC and an overtime loss to No. 2 California. He was also tied for second in the tournament in steals with seven. He wrote himself into the MPSF record books, tying the all-time MPSF record for goals in a conference game and was one shy of tying the single game record by an MPSF player in any game with a career-high eight goals (on 11 shots) in the win over No. 1 Stanford. Only two other players have scored eight goals in a game in league play (Ben Hallock, Stanford vs. California on 11/9/19 and Jeff Colyer, Long Beach State vs. UC Santa Barbara on 11/3/96). Additionally, it was the most-ever goals by a Bruin since Ryder Roberts scored seven goals in a win at No. 9 Pepperdine on Oct. 22, 2015. Saveljic also recorded two steals, drew one exclusion, and had one assist in the win over the Cardinal. In the overtime loss to the Golden Bears, Saveljic tallied two goals and two steals while winning one sprint. He had the eventual game-winning goal against the Trojans late in the third quarter, his only score of the contest. He also won his only sprint and tallied three steals against USC, two of which came on Trojan power plays. He jumped up to second in the MPSF in scoring with 19 goals on the year.

KENNEY NAMED MPSF/KAP7 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Mo Kenney (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Player of the Week on Feb. 1 by the league office. Kenney made his collegiate debut and scored a game-high five goals on just six shots in leading the No. 2 Bruins to a 15-9 home-opening win over No. 5 Pepperdine (Jan. 30). Kenney scored at least one goal in every quarter, including two scores in the fourth period. Four of his goals were scored at even strength and one was converted on a power play. He was also credited with one assist and one steal. This is the first career MPSF honor for Kenney.

PULICE NAMED MPSF/KAP7 NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
Freshman Tanner Pulice (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar HS) was named the MPSF/KAP7 Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 1 by the league office. Pulice scored two goals and assisted on two others to rack up four points in the Bruins' 15-9 win over No. 5 Pepperdine (Jan. 30). Pulice opened the scoring with a power play goal at the 5:58 mark of the first period. He also scored the first goal of the second half with a strike from the front court with 6:29 to go in the third period. He won his only sprint to open the game and also drew one exclusion in the opening period. This is the first career MPSF honor for Pulice.

UCLA 2020-21 OUTLOOK
UCLA returns four of its top five scorers and also eight of the top 10 from the 2019 season, including first team All-American and first team All-MPSF selection Felix Brozyna-Vilim (33 goals, 73 drawn exclusions/19 penalty). The Bruins also return a pair of third team All-Americans in Jake Cavano (led the team in scoring with 42 goals) and Tommy Gruwell (fifth on the squad in scoring with 26 goals).

The only All-American from 2019 UCLA lost was senior goalkeeper Alex Wolf. A three-time All-American, Wolf earned his second-consecutive selection to the first team. He finished the season with 179 saves in 17 starts with a goals against average of 9.00. He was also named second team All-MPSF in 2019.

The Bruins also return 2019 second team All-MPSF selection Nicolas Saveljic, who finished the year fourth on the team in scoring with 31 goals. UCLA also returns the services of 2018 second team All-MPSF and second team All-American Evan Rosenfeld, who played in all 28 matches that year after missing the entire 2019 campaign with an undisclosed injury. Other prominent players returning for UCLA include 2019 backup goalie Bernardo Maurizi (6.90 goals against average), sophomore attacker Jack White (19 goals), sophomore attacker Andy Rodgers (17 goals), sophomore center Gabe Discipulo (15 goals) and senior attacker Chasen Travisano (nine goals).

Arriving in Westwood this season and looking to make an immediate impact is Mo Kenney (6-3, ATK, Newport Harbor HS), Tanner Pulice (5-10, ATK, Corona del Mar HS), Ethan Shipman (6-2, ATK, Harvard-Westlake School), Guillermo Ocasio (6-2, UTL, Servite HS), and Maximo Rossi (6-6, UTL, Mater Dei HS).

UCLA will also get a boost in goal from USC transfer Sam Krutonog, who sat out last year, and from true freshman Garret Griggs (6-8, GK, Riverside Poly HS). The Bruins also return redshirt freshman Chase Honaker (6-3, GK, St. Mark's School of Texas).

The Bruins ended the 2019 season with a 17-5 overall record.

UCLA also lost first team All-MPSF performer and second-leading scorer, Ashworth Molthen (38 goals) and attacker Matthew Kacura (23 goals).

YOUTH MOVEMENT
The UCLA Men's Water Polo roster for the 2020-21 season will feature a lot of young talent as 83.3 percent (25-of-30) of the student-athletes are underclassmen. The Bruins sport 14 freshmen (three redshirts) and have 11 sophomores (four redshirts) on the 30-man roster for the upcoming season. UCLA only has five upperclassmen, which includes seniors Felix Brozyna-Vilim, Chasen Travisano, and Nicolas Saveljic. The Bruins welcome back two juniors, including Evan Rosenfeld (2019 redshirt) and Jake Cavano.

SAVELJIC SURGING
Senior attacker Nicolas Saveljic is currently 10th on the UCLA career charts in scoring with 146 goals and currently leads the Bruins with 19 goals on the year, which is second in the MPSF and seventh in the nation. He needs just two goals to pass Griffin White for ninth (147 goals, 2009-12) and seven goals to pass Scott Davidson (152 goals, 2006-09) for eighth. Saveljic already ranks sixth on the Bruins' career list in steals with 95, needing 11 to pass Max Irving (105 steals, 2014-17) for fifth.

COACHING CHANGES
During the offseason, UCLA men's water polo hired Jack Grover to the post of assistant coach (replacing Bret Lathrope). Grover returns for his second stint and his second overall season as the assistant coach.

THE WRIGHT STUFF
Adam Wright is in his 12th season as UCLA's head men's water polo coach in 2020-21 with an overall record of 272-50 (.845) and an MPSF mark of 57-19 (.750). His teams earned perfect APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores of 1,000 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 while winning the school's 112th, 113th and 114th NCAA Championships in 2014, 2015 and 2017. On July 20, 2017, then-UCLA Director of Athletics, Dan Guerrero, announced that Wright will guide both the UCLA men's and women's water polo teams. Wright was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame on June 20, 2019, and to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2020.
 
RECAPPING 2019
Overall Record: 17-5 | Final Ranking: 5th| NCAA Finish: n/a | MPSF Tournament Finish: 4th

The Bruins finished the season with a second-place finish at the SoCal Invitational but dropped their final two games of the MPSF Tournament and were snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee despite being the only team in the country to go undefeated against Pacific, Pepperdine, and UC Santa Barbara (combined 4-0). UCLA's team had a school-record 14 student-athletes earn ACWPC All-Academic accolades, while four Bruins earned All-America acclaim (headlined by first-team selections Alex Wolf and Felix Brozyna-Vilim). Attackers Jake Cavano and Tommy Gruwell each picked up third-team All-America honors. Bruins' head coach Adam Wright was also inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.

POLLING THE BRUINS
UCLA, which finished fifth in the final poll of the 2019 season, remained in second in this week's CWPA National Men's Varsity Top 10 Poll (94 points), released on Feb. 17.
 

 2020-21 MEN'S VARSITY TOP 10 (Week 4 - Feb. 17)
 Rank  Team  Last Week's Poll  Points
 1  California  1  98
 2  UCLA  2  94
 3  Stanford  3  91
 4  USC  4  87
 5  Pepperdine  5  81
 6  Loyola Marymount  6  74
 7  California Baptist University  7  68
 8  Air Force  9  60
 9  Navy  10  57
 10 (T)  Bucknell  8  54
 10 (T)  San Jose State  RV  54
 RV  George Washington  NR  47
 RV  Fordham  RV  43
 RV  Santa Clara  RV  38
 RV  Iona  RV  23
 RV  Fresno Pacific  RV  22
 RV  McKendree University  RV  21
 RV  Gannon  RV  18
 RV  La Salle  RV  7
 RV  Salem University  RV  5
 RV  Austin College  NR  5
 RV  Mount St. Mary's University  RV  3
 RV  Mercyhurst University  RV  3