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No. 3 UCLA Opens 2022 Campaign in San Diego

Sep 1, 2022
The Bruins open the season with the first game of the Triton Invitational at 8:00 a.m. PT against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

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LOS ANGELES – No. 3 UCLA (0-0) begins the 2022 campaign at the Triton Invitational on the campus of UC San Diego, where the Bruins will take to the Canyonview Pool for the first game at 8:00 a.m. PT against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. There will not be live stats or a live stream provided by UCSD, unless the Bruins are playing UCSD. Fans can view box scores for all games of the Triton Invitational on the Tournament Central page located here.

SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
Saturday, Sept. 3 (UCSD Triton Invitational - Group C Play)
8:00 AM PT – No. 3 UCLA vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Canyonview Pool)
4:15 PM PT – No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (Triton Pool)

Sunday, Sept. 4 (UCSD Triton Invitational - Playoffs)
8:15 AM or 9:30 AM PT – No. 3 UCLA vs. TBD (Triton Pool)
TBD – No. 3 UCLA vs. TBD (TBD)

SERIES HISTORY
UCLA is 17-0 all-time in the series history against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Bruins won the last meeting, 19-2, in the UCLA Invitational at home on Sept. 2, 2017. UCLA is 107-17-1 all-time against UC Santa Barbara. The Bruins won both meetings last year against the Gauchos, winning 14-12 at the UCSD Triton Invitational on Sept. 5, 2021, and then 12-10 at UCSB on Sept. 18, 2021. The Gauchos scored 22 goals combined against the Bruins in the two meetings last year, but only five of them were scored by a current team member in 2022 (Sam Nangle 3, Adam Gyenis 1, Colton Gregory 1). Of the 26 combined goals the Bruins scored against UCSB a year ago, 17 were tallied by current members (Chase Dodd 4, Gianpierio Di Martire 3, Jake Cavano 2, Tommy Gruwell 2, Evan Rosenfeld 2, Makoto Kenney 1, Jack Larsen 1, Giorgio Alessandria 1, Andy Rodgers 1). Reserve goalkeeper Garret Griggs earned both wins for the Bruins with a combined total of 15 saves.

UCLA IN SEASON OPENERS
Entering its 61st season, the UCLA men's water polo team has an all-time record of 55-5 (.917) in season openers (since 1962). UCLA Head Coach Adam Wright is 12-1 (.923) all-time in season openers (since 2009). The Bruins have opened the season with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps one other time in history, when the Wright-led Bruins defeated the Stags, 22-2, to open the 2011 campaign at home on Sept. 3 at the UCLA Invitational.

UCLA PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN MPSF
Defending NCAA Champion California recorded a perfect 49 points in the 2022 MPSF Men's Water Polo Coaches' poll and was picked to win the MPSF's Western Division title. UCLA placed second with 41 points. USC came in third with 39 points while Stanford was fourth with 31 points. In the MPSF Eastern Division, Austin College was picked to win with 24 points. Washington & Jefferson was projected second with 16 points, followed by Penn State Behrend (13) and Augustana (11).

SUPER SENIORS
Super seniors Evan Rosenfeld (2021 First-Team All-American) and Jake Cavano (2021 Honorable Mention All-American) have both decided to return to Westwood for one final season. Rosenfeld, a three-time All-American and 2021 MPSF Tournament MVP, scored 13 goals as a defender a year ago. Cavano, a four-time All-American, was tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 goals last season. Rosenfeld is working towards a master's degree in the Department of Education's Transformative Coaching and Leadership. 

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS
In addition to the aforementioned Rosenfeld and Cavano, the Bruins also return two more All-Americans in Tommy Gruwell and Bernardo Maurizi. Gruwell, a three-time All-American, returns for his senior season after ranking fifth on the team in scoring with 26 goals last year. He also spent the summer with Team USA where tallied three goals at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Starting senior goalie Bernardo Maurizi (9-4 last year), a two-time All-American, returns in the cage.

UCLA 2022 OUTLOOK
UCLA returns five of its top seven scorers and all three goalkeepers that saw action a year ago from the 2021 MPSF Championship team. Reserve goalkeepers junior Garret Griggs (10-0 in 2021) and redshirt junior Chase Honaker (1-0 in 2021) also return to bolster the Bruin defense.

Including the firepower from the four All-Americans, the Bruin offense looks to be very strong. Sophomore Chase Dodd was tied for second on the team in scoring with 31 goals and returns to UCLA after a busy summer where he tallied 13 goals at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, for Team USA. He also scored 17 goals at the 2022 FINA Intercontinental Cup in Lima, Peru and was named MVP of the gold medal match.

The Bruins also return capable offensive players in redshirt junior Jack Larsen (23 goals), redshirt sophomore Gianpiero Di Martire (19 goals), junior Makoto Kenney (14 goals), sophomore Eli Liechty (12 goals), senior Gabe Discipulo (11 goals), senior Andy Rodgers (11 goals), and redshirt junior Giorgio Alessandria (11 goals).
 
The Bruins will look to replace 2020 NCAA Player of the Year and Cutino Award winner, Nicolas Saveljic (led the team with 33 goals). UCLA also lost the services of seniors Felix Brozyna-Vilim (30 goals) and Chasen Travisano (11 goals), and sophomore Tanner Pulice (17 goals).
 
Arriving in Westwood this season and looking to make an immediate impact is freshmen Gray Carson (6-4, UTL, Long Beach, Calif., Woodrow Wilson HS), and Noah Rowe (6-4, ATK, North Tustin, Calif., Foothill HS).
 
The Bruins ended the 2021 season with a 20-4 overall record and captured their sixth MPSF Championship in program history.
 
A CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
The UCLA Bruins captured their 12th NCAA Championship in men's water polo with a 7-6 win at USC on Mar. 21, 2021, at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The win also marked the 119th NCAA Championship for the UCLA Athletic Department. It was a balanced scoring effort by the Bruins, who received goals from six different players. Junior Jake Cavano, who was named to the 2020 First-Team All-NCAA Tournament, scored two goals, including the eventual difference maker with 6:23 left in the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Bernardo Maurizi, who also was named First-Team All-NCAA Tournament, held the Trojans scoreless throughout the first half and racked up nine saves. UCLA never trailed in the game, though USC briefly pulled even at 4-4. Nicolas Saveljic was named the NCAA Tournament MVP.

THE WRIGHT STUFF
After guiding the Bruins to the NCAA Championship in 2020 and being named the ACWPC National Coach of the Year, Adam Wright returns for his 14th season as UCLA's head men's water polo coach in 2022 with an overall record of 296-58 (.836) and an MPSF mark of 59-23 (.720). 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. Wright added the fourth NCAA Championship to his resume as a head coach in 2020 (Mar. 21, 2021) and a fourth perfect APR score in 2021. 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. On March 22, 2022, UCLA Director of Athletics, Martin Jarmond, announced that Wright had signed a new six-year contract, starting in July of 2022, as the Head Coach for both of the Bruins' Men's and Women's Water Polo programs. 
 
RECAPPING 2021
Overall Record: 20-4 | Final Ranking: 3rd | NCAA Finish: T-3rd | MPSF Tournament Finish: 1st

The UCLA Bruins captured the 2021 MPSF Men's Water Polo Championship with an 11-10 win at Stanford at Avery Aquatic Center (Nov. 21, 2021). The win marked the Bruins' sixth MPSF Championship in history while completing a season sweep of the Cardinal (3-0), extending the series winning streak to four games.

POLLING THE BRUINS
UCLA opens the 2022 season at No. 3 in the preseason CWPA National Men's Varsity Top 20 Poll (92 points), released on Aug. 31.
 

2022 MEN'S VARSITY TOP 20 (PRESEASON - AUG. 31)
Rank  Team 2021 Final Poll Points
1  California 1 98
2  USC 2 95
3  UCLA 3 92
4  Stanford 4 84
5 (T)  Pacific 7 75
5 (T)  Long Beach State 6 75
7  UC Davis 5 70
8  UC Santa Barbara 8 65
9  San Jose State 9 55
10  Pepperdine 10 52
11  Princeton 12 49
12  UC Irvine 11 42
13 (T)  UC San Diego 15 35
13 (T)  California Baptist University 13 35
15  Loyola Marymount 14 34
16  Harvard 20 27
17  Fordham 17 21
18  Pomona-Pitzer 16 15
19  Brown 19 11
20  St. Francis College Brooklyn 18 8
RV  George Washington NR 5
RV  Santa Clara RV 4
RV  Bucknell NR 4
RV  Navy RV 3
RV  Air Force RV 1