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No. 2 UCLA Hosts No. 4 Pacific, Travels to No. 12 Pepperdine

Sep 28, 2022
No. 2 UCLA looks to bounce back after its first loss of the season last weekend at No. 3 Stanford.

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LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA (13-1) returns home for just the second time this season when it hosts No. 4 Pacific (13-2) on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:00 p.m. PT at Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center. Then the Bruins will conclude the week's contests at No. 12 Pepperdine (6-8) on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1:00 p.m. PT at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. UCLA will provide live stats but no stream while Pepperdine will provide a live stream as well as live stats.

Friday, Sept. 30 (Non-Conference Game - Dirks Pool at Spieker Aquatics Center)
7:00 PM PT – No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 4 Pacific | Live Stats

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Non-Conference Game - Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool)
1:00 PM PT – No. 2 UCLA at No. 12 Pepperdine| Live Stats | Live Stream | Tickets

UCLA is 53-4 all-time in the series history against Pacific. The Bruins won the last meeting, 13-8, at Pacific on Oct. 17, 2021.
UCLA is 83-31-1 all-time in the series history against Pepperdine. The Bruins won the last meeting, 18-10, at home on Oct. 24, 2021.

UCLA went 3-1last week, suffering its first loss of the season at No. 3 Stanford, 8-7, in the finals of the MPSF Invitational (Sept. 25). The Bruins had seven players score in the game against the Cardinal, all with one goal apiece. The UCLA goal scorers included super seniors Evan Rosenfeld and Jake Cavano, seniors Andy Rodgers and Tommy Gruwell, redshirt junior Jack Larsen, and redshirt sophomores Gianpiero Di Martire and Maximo Rossi. Senior Bernardo Maurizi got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering eight saves and one steal while allowing eight goals.

The Bruins rallied to defeat No. 5 USC, 13-12, in the semifinals (Sept. 24). UCLA had five players score in the game, paced by a career-high-tying give goals from Gruwell. He finished with a game- and career-high nine total points, adding four assists in the contest. Cavano added a season-high four scores against the Trojans. Maurizi got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering nine saves and two steals while allowing 12 goals.

UCLA rallied to defeat No. 7 Long Beach State, 7-6, in the quarterfinals (Sept. 24). The Bruins had five players score in the game, paced by a game-high-tying three goals from sophomore Chase Dodd. Dodd also had two field blocks in the fourth quarter, including the game-saving block with 10 seconds remaining on a power play by the Beach with UCLA leading 7-6. Gruwell converted a penalty shot (4Q - 3:22) that proved to be the game winner. Maurizi got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering seven saves and two steals while allowing six goals.

The Bruins rallied to defeat Santa Clara, 13-9, in the first round (Sept. 23). UCLA had nine players score in the game, paced by a career-high four goals from Di Martire. Redshirt freshmen Grant Loth was the only other Bruin to score multiple goals, finishing with two against Santa Clara. Junior Garret Griggs got the start in the cage and went the distance, registering a season-high-tying 11 saves and three steals while allowing nine goals.

UCLA super senior attacker/utility Jake Cavano (Huntington Beach, Calif./Hunting Beach HS) was named the MPSF West/Delfina Player of the Week as announced by the league office (Sept. 19). Cavano scored seven goals through four wins over Top-20 teams at the UC Davis Aggie Roundup (Sept. 16-17). Cavano put away the game-winning goal in three of the four contests. He scored twice in wins over No. 10 San Jose State, No. 16 California Baptist, and No. 11 Princeton, and added one goal in the win over No. 14 Harvard. Cavano is the only Bruin to score at least one goal in all 10 games of the 2022 season. This was Cavano's second career MPSF Player of the Week award.

UCLA senior goalkeeper Bernardo Maurizi (Florence, Italy/Salesiani Firenze) was named the MPSF West/Delfina Player of the Week as announced by the league office (Sept. 5). Maurizi registered 26 saves over the two and a half games he played to help the Bruins win the UC San Diego Invitational (Sept. 3-4). He had eight saves and two steals against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara. He played the second half in the win over No. 7 UC Davis and had seven saves, one steal, and one assist, while only allowing two goals. He then had 11 saves and three steals in the win over No. 2 USC. He had an impressive goals against average of 5.6 against three Top 10 teams this past weekend. This was Maurizi's first career MPSF weekly award.

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 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. 

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 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.
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.

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 309-59 (.840) 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. 
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.

UCLA remained at No. 2 in this week's CWPA National Men's Varsity Top 20 Poll (93 points), released on Sept. 28.

 Rank  Team  Week 3 Poll  Points
 1  Stanford  3  99
 2 (T)  UCLA  2  93
 2 (T)  California  1  93
 4  Pacific  4  84
 5  USC  5  82
 6  Long Beach State  7  75
 7  UC Davis  6  71
 8  UC Santa Barbara  8  63
 9  UC Irvine  13  56
 10  Loyola Marymount  10  49
 11  Harvard  12  48
 12  Pepperdine  11  46
 13  UC San Diego  14  43
 14  San Jose State  9  39
 15  Princeton  15  37
 16  California Baptist University  16 (T)  22
 17 (T)  Fordham  16 (T)  13
 17 (T)  Santa Clara  RV  13
 19 (T)  Brown  18 (T)  8
 19 (T)  St. Francis College Brooklyn  18 (T)  8
 19 (T)  George Washington  20  8
 RV  Air Force  RV  4
 RV  Navy  RV  2
 RV  Pomona-Pitzer  NR  1
 RV  Bucknell  RV  1