Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
No. 8 UCSB vs. No. 10 Pepperdine, 12 p.m.,
at Campus Pool
Last Meeting: W, 11-7 (Oct. 11, 2014)
Coming Down the Stretch
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (9-11, 0-6 MPSF) returns home this weekend as the team prepares to host its final home contest of the year. Santa Barbara is slated to face off against No. 10 Pepperdine (9-11, 1-5 MPSF) in its second to last regular season match. Defeating the Waves twice this season, UCSB aims to capture its first conference win of the season and build momentum heading into the end of the year conference tournament.
Last Weekend's Recap
UCSB went on a road trip last weekend to face two more premier programs. The Gauchos first faced off against then ranked No. 4 Cal in what turned out to be a tough match for UCSB. Trailing, 6-5, at the end of the first half, UCSB could not find an answer defensively against the high octane offense of the Golden Bears. Scoring 14 goals in the second half, Cal dominated the Gauchos en route to a 20-10 win.
The Gauchos endured a quick turnaround as the team traveled to Stockton, Calif. for a match against then eighth-ranked Pacific. Being the third meeting of the season between the two teams, the match lived up to the intensity levels of the prior meetings. Being close all game long, neither team could really separate from one another. UCSB never led in the match, but with the score tied, 7-7, in the closing moments, the Gauchos had a real shot of capturing a win at Chris Kjeldsen Pool Complex. Unfortunately, the Tigers escaped with a narrow 8-7 to prevent the Gauchos from capturing its 10th win of the season.
Waves Arrive with Momentum
Pepperdine will come to Campus Pool on a high note as the team is coming off an impressive 11-9 win over UC Irvine for its first conference victory.
Led by junior Luke Hewko, Pepperdine poses a great offensive threat. Placing sixth in the MPSF rankings for goals scored with 45 scores, the junior will surely look to score more against the Gauchos in hopes of adding another win to the team's record.
The Gauchos have had Pepperdine's number with two wins against the Waves this season. UCSB secured its first victory against the Waves at their house, with a 12-6 victory. Matched up against each other in the first round of the SoCal Tournament, UCSB once again got the best of Pepperdine with an 11-7 score.
McElroy and Van de Mortel to be Honored
Seniors Eric Van de Mortel and Brendan McElroy will embark on their last home match as members of the Gaucho family. McElroy is having a stellar season as the 6-1 senior is amongst the team leaders in goals scored with 16. McElroy has flashed his play making ability with his team leading 23 assists.
Van de Mortel has endured a rocky season as the Murrieta, Calif. native has appeared in only nine games due to a concussion. The senior attacker was on pace to once again lead the Gauchos offense as the 6-2 senior tallied 16 goals through the first nine games of the season.
Hauschild Keeps on Scoring
Freshman attacker Shane Hauschild is coming off another impressive weekend. Scoring a total of four goals during last weekend's matches against Cal and Pacific, the 6-5 freshman brought his season total to 26 goals. Hauschild continues to be a center piece for the Gauchos offense as the freshman has dished 16 assists this season.
Junior Kevin Cappon remains a steady presence for UCSB as the Santa Barbara, Calif. native continues to prove his versatility. Scoring 20 goals thus far along with 14 assists, Cappon shows his capability of doing anything. The junior attacker ranks second on the team in field blocks with a total of 10 blocks.
Whitelegge a Rock in Goal
Posting double digit saves in both games last weekend, junior Chris Whitelegge remains one of the top performers for the Gauchos. Recording a total of 24 saves in the two matches last weekend, Whitelegge totals 184 saves this season, along with a team leading 17 steals.
Final Conference Match Ahead
After competing against Pepperdine in the season's home finale, the Gauchos will be on the road for next week's regular season conclusion. Santa Barbara will take on No. 11 UC Irvine next Saturday, Nov. 15th, at noon.
The Gauchos will look to capture these last two wins before the MPSF Championships in order to gain a better seed in the tournament. The conference championships will be held at Long Beach State this year during Nov. 21-23.
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.