October 26, 2012

No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Looking to Tally Another Win Against No. 6 Pepperdine

The Schedule
Saturday, October 27, 2012
UCSB Campus Pool
UCSB vs. Pepperdine, 12 p.m.

Keeping up with the Gauchos
Moving into week three of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action, No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (15-5, 1-2) seeks to tally another victory as the Gauchos are set to host sixth-ranked Pepperdine (10-6, 2-1) this Saturday. In the MPSF standings, UCSB is currently tied for fifth-place, while the Waves are tied for third. 

Splitting last weekend's contests, UCSB fell, 10-5, to No. 2 UCLA in Saturday's home matchup before traveling to UC Irvine on Sunday to trump the then-ranked No. 4 Anteaters, 13-7.  The Gauchos aim to build upon their first conference win as they prepare for a rousing home game before an upcoming three-week road swing. This Saturday's first sprint will take off at noon, hosted at UCSB's Campus Pool.

Where are They Now?
Entering the weekend, UCSB holds a 15-5 overall record, 1-2 in the MPSF. Boasting a powerful offensive lineup, UCSB ranks fifth in the MPSF in scoring, averaging 13.15 goals per game with a total of 263 goals. Scoring in 17 of UCSB's 20 games, junior Evan Dellinger takes over as the Gauchos' leading scorer with a career-high 39 goals, averaging 2.05 goals per game. Coming in a close second, Matt Gronow has tallied 37 goals on the season with an average of 1.85 goals per game. For their eighth consecutive week, the offensive standouts remain on the leader board of MPSF scorers, placing 14th and 17th, respectively.   

Dominating on defense, senior goalkeeper Myles Christian has posted 169 saves - one shy from matching a career-high 170 which he earned in the 2011 season. A dominant force in the cage, Christian continues to progress throughout the season. The senior now ranks second among MPSF goalkeepers – a new season high – averaging 12.07 saves per game. As a team, UCSB ranks sixth, allowing an average of 7.85 goals per game. 

What Lies Ahead
As UCSB and Pepperdine set to face each other for the second time this year, the Gauchos hold an advantage after an 8-4 victory over the Waves in the squads' previous meeting at the Northern California Invitational (Sept. 16). This Saturday's game will mark UCSB's second to last home game for the 2012 season.  Following this weekend, the Gauchos will compete away 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.