Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
William Brown is one of four UCSD players who will be honored on Sunday before UCSD's contest with UCLA.
No. 14 Santa Clara, No. 1 UCLA On Tap for No. 11 UCSD
Release: Thursday 11/03/2011 
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The No. 11 UC San Diego men's water polo team will host No. 14 Santa Clara on Friday before welcoming the nation's top team, No. 1 UCLA, to Canyonview on Sunday afternoon.

Match No. 21
No. 11 UCSD (13-7, 11-3) vs. Santa Clara (15-12, 6-3)
Friday, November 4 - 6:00 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center - La Jolla, Calif.

Match No. 22
No. 11 UCSD (13-7) vs. No. 1 UCLA (15-3)
Friday, November 6 - 12:00 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center - La Jolla, Calif.

The UCSD men's water polo team will host the 2011 WWPA Men's Championships at Canyonview Aquatic Center November 17-20. For all information on the WWPA Championships, visit Tournament Central.

UCSD has two home matches remaining before hosting the WWPA Championships. The Tritons will host their final home contest at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 6 against No. 1 UCLA. Prior to the match, UCSD will honor four seniors for their years of service to the men's water polo program- William Brown, Matt Kerchner, Graham Saber and David Morton. Be sure to arrive early to catch the ceremony.

UCSD has the inside edge for the No. 2 seed for the WWPA Championships after the Tritons' 10-6 win over UC Davis last Friday evening at Canyonview. Josh Stiling and Graham Saber each recorded hat tricks in the win, while John Butler scored twice and added four assists. The Tritons held the WWPA's leading scorer, Aaron Salit of UCD, off the scoresheet throughout the match by collapsing on Salit every time he touched the ball. UCSD shut-out UCD in the final period to seal the win. The Tritons' only losses in conference play this year have come at the hands of No. 10 Loyola Marymount, who will most likely take the WWPA's No. 1 seed due to the Lions' 9-1 conference mark. UC Davis, 11-4 in conference play, will most likely hold the No. 3 seed behind UCSD, who is 11-3 in the WWPA. The Tritons have topped the Aggies twice this season.

The Broncos come into town with the fourth-best record in the WWPA, having gone 6-3 against conference opponents to this point. Santa Clara will enter Friday's match as winner of four of its last five matches, including an 11-6 win over Air Force at The Rodeo Tournament on October 22. In their most recent match on October 30, the Broncos were topped by No. 8 Pacific 11-5. Theo Nasser leads the Bronco attack with 37 goals this season while Marcus Akerland and James Case have contributed 33 scores apiece. Michael Wishart's 207 saves in goal this season are second-most in the conference. The last three contests between the Tritons and Broncos have been decided by three goals or less. SCU knocked UCSD out of the 2010 WWPA Championships with a 7-6 win on November 21, avenging UCSD's 10-7 win over SCU during the regular season on October 16, 2010.

The Bruins of UCLA come to town as the No. 1 ranked team in the country in the latest Collegiate Water Polo Association national poll. In fact, UCLA has been the top ranked team for the last three weeks since taking down then-No. 1 Stanford 7-6 on October 15. The Bruins are on a five-match winning streak and have outscored their last two opponents, Whittier and Pomona-Pitzer, 34-4. Josh Samuels leads UCLA with 29 goals while Brett Hays has scored 25 times. The Bruins' 12.67 goals per game average ranks second-best in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. UCLA downed UCSD that last time the squads met, 12-4, on October 30, 2010 in Los Angeles.

The last time the Tritons faced the No. 1-ranked team in the nation was back in 2006. UCSD fell to then-No. 1 Cal 17-7 in the opening round of the NCAA Championships on December 2. Interestingly, UCSD faced the No. 1 team three times in 2006. The Tritons were 0-3 in those matches. Since 2006, UCSD has clashed with the No. 2 team three times. Who was No. 2 on two of those three occasions? UCLA.

David Morton is the only player in UCSD history to pass the 1,000 career saves plateau. He reached the mark with his sixth save last Friday against UC Davis and now has 1,004 stops for his career ... Stiling has five goals over his last three matches ... Butler's four assists against UCD matched a season-high for a single game this year ... UCD won every sprint of last Friday's contest- a 10-6 win by the Tritons- proving it's not how one starts, but how one finishes.

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