No. 1 Pacific Men's Water Polo Hosts No. 9 UC Irvine Saturday
The No. 1 ranked Pacific men's water polo team plays host to No. 9 UC Irvine at noon Saturday at Chris Kjeldsen Pool.
Pacific (18-3 overall) leads the MPSF at 5-1 with two regular season games left to play. The Tigers will try to secure their grip on the MPSF regular season title and the top seed in the MPSF Tournament in their second-to-last regular season game.
UC Irvine (12-10, 0-5 MPSF) is fighting for a berth in the MPSF Tournament, in a three-team race for the final two spots in the eight-team field.
It is the Tigers' second-straight week at No. 1 in the polls, picking up a point from last week (one shy of unanimous). Pacific handled the new pressure of the ranking last weekend with an emphatic 15-7 win over No. 7 Pepperdine in their first game as the nation's top-ranked team. The Tigers followed that up on Sunday with an 11-9 win at No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, downing the Gauchos for the third time this season.
Senior Balazs Erdelyi leads the Tigers with 68 goals and ranks second in MPSF in scoring with 3.24 goals per game following a seven-goal weekend. Senior Goran Tomasevic netted a first-quarter hat-trick against UC Santa Barbara Sunday to bump his total to 52, (2.60, sixth in MPSF). Junior Alex Obert has added 37 goals to give the Tigers three of the top 12 scorers in MPSF.
UC Irvine senior Mitch Wise paces the Anteaters with 3.05 goals per game, third in MPSF. Freshman Kyle Trush is UCI's second-leading scorer, with 32 goals for a 1.45 average, 19th in MPSF.
As a team, Pacific ranks second in the conference in scoring, with 14.67 goals per game, while Irvine is sixth at 11.82. The Tigers rank sixth in defense, at 7.76 goals allowed per game, while the Anteaters rank eighth at 9.36.