No. 1 Bears To Be Tested At MPSF Invitational
2022 MPSF INVITATIONAL
OPENING ROUND MATCHUPS
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
Avery Aquatic Center
No. 1 Cal vs. Pomona-Pitzer, 2 p.m.
No. 8 UCSB vs. No. 9 Pepperdine, 3:20 p.m.
No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 15 Loyola Marymount, 4:40 p.m.
No. 5 Pacific vs. No. 13 UC San Diego, 6 p.m.
No. 2 UCLA vs. Santa Clara, 2 p.m.
No. 7 Long Beach State vs. No. 10 San Jose State, 3:20 p.m.
No. 3 USC vs. No. 17 Fordham, 4:40 p.m.
No. 6 UC Davis vs. No. 12 UC Irvine, 6 p.m.
The best teams in the nation will converge on Stanford this weekend for the annual MPSF Invitational. The prestigious tournament features 16 teams, 14 of which are ranked in this week's CWPA Top-20. The No. 1 Bears are the top seed in the field and begin play Friday afternoon with a matchup against unranked Pomona-Pitzer. If Cal advances, they will take on the winner of the game between No. 8 UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 Pepperdine in the first of two games to be played Saturday. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday.
- Junior center Nikolaos Papanikolaou was named the 2021 winner of the prestigious Cutino Award, given to the top player in NCAA water polo. He was also named the ACWPC National Player of the Year. Papanikolaou leads the MPSF with 25 goals and 25 earned exclusions.
- Junior goalie Adrian Weinberg leads the MPSF with 48 saves. He is coming off a busy summer playing for the U.S. National Team. Weinberg saw time at both the FINA World Championships and FINA World League Super Final.
- The Bears feature five players who were named ACWPC All-Americans last season. Along with Papanikolaou, senior Jack Deely was named a First Team All-American. Weinberg and sophomore attackers Roberto Valera and Max Casabella were picked to the Second Team. Papanikolaou was also the MPSF Player of the Year for the second season in a row while Valera was the MPSF Newcomer of the Year.
- Cal will host the 2022 NCAA Championship at Spieker Aquatics Complex on Dec. 3-4. The Bears last hosted in 2016 and won the national championship, defeating USC in the finals.
GROUP A SCOUTING REPORTS
• Two of their losses are to top-10 teams - No. 3 USC and No. 7 UC Davis
• Sagehens won the USA Water Polo Division III Collegiate National Championship last season
• SR Sam Sasaki was named an ACWPC Division III First Team All-American last year
• Lost 20-7 to Cal at last year's MPSF Invite
ABOUT NO. 8 UC SANTA BARBARA
• Two of UCSB's losses came against top-10 teams by one goal
• Gauchos have four victories over ranked opponents this season
• C Sam Nangle, an All-GCC Second Team pick last year, leads UCSB with 19 goals
• Lost 14-13 at Cal last season
ABOUT NO. 9 PEPPERDINE
• Fell to Cal 17-12 on Sept. 11 in Berkeley
• Cal attacker Jake Howerton played his first two college seasons at Pepperdine
• Half of the Waves' games this season have come against top-10 opponents
• FR Adam Csapo leads Pepperdine with 22 goals