No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Slated for Showdowns Against No. 2 UCLA and No. 6 UCI

No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Slated for Showdowns Against No. 2 UCLA and No. 6 UCI

The Schedule
Saturday, October 20, 2012
UCSB Campus Pool
UCSB vs. UCLA, 12 p.m.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
UC Irvine Anteater Aquatics Complex
UCSB vs. UC Irvine, 12 p.m.

Rousing Rematches
In its second week of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, third-ranked UC Santa Barbara (14-4, 0-1) will host No. 2 UCLA (17-2, 1-0) before traveling to face No. 6 UC Irvine (14-4, 0-1) in what will undoubtedly be two thrilling matchups between the squads.  

With an upset over the Bruins and a narrow defeat by the Anteaters in nonconference competition, this weekend's games will aim to reign dominance in one while seeking reprisal in the other.

After a historic UCSB victory in the teams' previous contest at the Southern California Tournament (Sept. 30), the Gauchos rewrote the record book as they shattered a two decade, 35-game losing skid against the Bruins.  Not only did the monumental win advance the Gauchos into a second-place tournament finish, it also catapulted UCSB into a No. 2 national ranking - its highest position since 1979. 

On the other hand, the Gauchos hope to settle the score against UCI who handed them their second loss of the season in a nail biting, 12-11 double overtime loss at Stanford's Northern California Invitational (Sept. 16).  Both teams holding identical records, Sunday's game will prove significant moving forward in MPFS play.

After falling 9-7 to then-ranked No. 5 Stanford (8-3, 2-1) in last weekend's conference opener, UCSB aims to regain momentum and conclude victorious.  This Saturday's first sprint will take off at noon, hosted at UCSB's Campus Pool.  Sunday's game will be played at UCI's Anteater Aquatics Complex, also beginning at noon. 

Breaking Down the Stats
With a week of MPSF action underway, UC Santa Barbara enters this weekend with a 14-4 overall record, 0-1 in MPSF play.  Compiling an overall .778 winning percentage, fourth-best in the MPSF, the Gauchos have scored 245 goals to place fourth among MPSF offenses.  Consistent contributors to UCSB's offensive success, juniors Evan Dellinger and Matt Gronow remain on the leader board of MPSF scorers for the seventh consecutive week.  Advancing to 12th place, Dellinger posts a 2.12 goals per game average, tallying a total 36 goals on the season.  Gronow shifts to 14th on the leader board, tallying a team-leading 37 goals, averaging 2.06 goals per game.  Shining for the Gaucho defense, senior Myles Christian ranks third - his highest of the season - amongst MPSF goalkeepers with 136 saves, averaging 11.3 saves per game.

The Path Towards a Championship
Saturday's matchup will be the second of three remaining home games for the third-ranked squad.  After hosting UCLA, the Gauchos will travel to UCI on Sunday, October 21 for their third conference contest.

The following weekend, UCSB will return home to face Pepperdine (Oct. 27) before beginning a three-week road swing at USC (Nov. 3), Pacific (Nov. 10), and Cal (Nov. 11).

Tickets for home men's water polo games are available by visiting the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by clicking here.