Gauchos Men’s Water Polo Makes 2013 Debut at UCLA Invitational

Gauchos Men’s Water Polo Makes 2013 Debut at UCLA Invitational
  • The Schedule
    UCLA Invitational
    Saturday, September 7, 2013
    UCSB vs. La Verne, 1:00 p.m.
    at Spieker Aquatics Center
    UCSB vs. Pomona-Pitzer, 3:30 p.m.
    at Spieker Aquatics Center
    Last Meeting: W 23-2 (Sep. 3, 2011)
  • UCSB Invitational
    Sunday, September 8, 2013
    Pepperdine vs. UCSB (exhibition), 10:30 a.m.
    At UCSB Campus Pool
    Pepperdine vs. UCSB (exhibition), 1:30 p.m.
    At UCSB Campus Pool
    Last Meeing: W 9-6 (Nov. 25, 2012)
  • Opening Weekend
    The sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara Men's Water Polo team gets its 2013 season under way at the UCLA Invitational which is being held on Saturday, Sep. 7, at the Spieker Aquatics Center. The Gauchos will play a pair of regular season matches against La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer at the invitational.

    Following its stint at the UCLA Invitational, the Gauchos will host its own tournament at Campus Pool on Sunday, Sep. 8. Santa Barbara will have a good opportunity to see how competitive the team is as it competes in a pair of scrimmages against No.9 Pepperdine.
  • New Season with New Faces
    The 2013 squad has a mix of youth and veterans on the team. Despite the balance, the only senior on the team is Matt Gronow. The Gauchos have a total of ten freshmen, with three being redshirts. Along with the class of 2017, UCSB has two junior transfers. Making the rest of the squad, UCSB holds a total of four sophomores along with a big total of eight juniors.
  • Where the Gauchos Rank
    In the MPSF Men's Water Polo Coaches' Poll, the Gauchos ranked sixth in the very competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In the conference, UCSB trails the talented teams of No.1 USC, No.2 Stanford, No.3 Pacific, No.4 UCLA and No.5 California. After ranking as high as No.2 last season, UC Santa Barbara will once again look to prove that it belongs with the top tier water polo programs in the nation.
  • The Veterans
    The Gauchos will be leaning on senior Matt Gronow and juniors, Derek Shoemaker and Eric Van de Mortel to build off their solid 2012 seasons. The three will be embracing an even more important role as team leaders this season. Leading the team with 52 goals and 27 assists last season, Matt Gronow is primed to be a key offensive player and leader this season. Juniors, Derek Shoemaker and Eric Van de Mortel are two key returnees for the squad as the two combined for 58 goals and 35 assists last season. Gronow, Shoemaker and Van de Mortel provide a solid foundation for the team as it competes against premier programs.
  • Big Challenge Ahead in Goal
    After having one of the greatest goalies in Gaucho history over the previous seasons, UCSB will have a new face in goal this season as Myles Christian graduated this past year. During his five seasons here in Santa Barbara, Christian recorded 561 saves, placing him fifth in the record books. Sophomore, Chris Whitelegge seems to have the inside track to starting in goal this season. Whitelegge appeared in 13 games last year, tallying 51 saves with an impressive 10.2 average saves per game.
  • The Headliners
    No. 6 UC Santa Barbara is scheduled to host prime competition at the Campus Pool this season. On Sunday Oct. 20 at noon, the Gauchos are scheduled to face off against the dangerous No. 5 California Golden Bears. One week after that match up, UCSB will be hosts to the 2012 NCAA Champion and first ranked USC, on Sunday Oct. 27 at noon.

    The Gauchos will have one nationally televised game on the Pac-12 network as the team heads down to Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 17 to face off against No. 4 UCLA with the match set to begin at 11 a.m.
  • Up and Ahead for the Gauchos
    After opening its 2013 season this weekend, UCSB will be on the road for several weeks as the team competes in the Inland Empire Invite at Redlands, Calif. on Saturday, Sep. 14. The Gauchos will then travel up to Berkeley to play in the Nor Cal Tournament on Sep. 21-22. After this weekend's UCSB Invitational, the next time the Gauchos will be at home will be Saturday, Oct. 5 as the team plays its alumni game that afternoon.