UCSB Hosts No. 3 Cal, No. 8 Pacific This Weekend in Conference Showdown

Schedule 

Saturday November 5, 2011
No. 5 UC Santa Barbara (14-7, 2-2 MPSF) vs. No. 3 Cal (16-3, 4-1 MPSF), 12:00 p.m.
at Campus Pool in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

Sunday November 6, 2011

No. 5 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 8 Pacific (10-8, 0-3 MPSF), 12:00 p.m.
at Campus Pool in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

What Lies Ahead 

Coming off a thrilling 16-15 overtime victory at Pepperdine, No. 5 UCSB looks to continue its momentum into the weekend. First up for the Gauchos is No. 3 Cal on Saturday. 

The Bears are coming off a 14-6 victory over UC Irvine in their fourth conference win of the season. Led by 2010 National Player of the Year Ivan Rackov, who leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 3.06 goals a game, Cal's only conference loss came against USC on Oct. 15, in a 9-8 overtime match. Cal also leads the MPSF with 12.89 goals per game. If UCSB can hold Rackov in check and continue its offensive firepower, the Gauchos are in a prime position for the upset. 

On Sunday, UCSB returns to the pool against No. 8 Pacific. The Gauchos defeated the Tigers, 9-8, down in Long Beach on Oct. 2 for the SoCal Tournament. Pacific is led by their big sophomore from Hungary, Balazs Erdelyi, with 35 goals on the season. Fatigue will be a factor for both teams, as Pacific is traveling to UCSB after playing UCLA on Saturday and the Gauchos will also be playing their second game of the weekend. 

Dare to be Great 

With a hat trick last week against Pepperdine, super sophomore Matt Gronow now has 37 goals on the season. Junior Jesse Gillespie continues his stellar season with 23 goals and 19 assists. Junior Goalkeeper Myles Christian is second in the MPSF with 10.49 saves per game. His leadership from the back will continue to be a valuable asset for the Gauchos as the conference season winds down. 

Polls 

UCSB remains at No. 5 this week after defeating Pepperdine in Malibu. UCLA, USC, Cal, and Stanford are the only teams ahead of the Gauchos. 

Conference Tournament 

The 2011 MPSF Men's Water Polo Championship will be held November 25-27 at the Spieker Aquatic Center at UCLA. These last conference games are crucial for seeding into the MPSF Championship, which leads to the NCAA tournament. 

View: Mobile | Desktop