#1 Bears Ready for Big Splash


Cal will finish the regular season at Stanford

SATURDAY 11 DEC

NO. 1 CALIBRATION AT NO. 4 STANFORD | AVERY AQUATIC CENTER | STANFORD, CALIFORNIA. | LIVE STATISTICS | WATCH LIVE

The No. 1 in Cal men’s water polo meets rival No. 4 Stanford in Saturday’s annual Big Splash to end the regular season. The Bears defeated No. 14 San Jose State 17-4 last week and went up 18-1 in the season. Stanford had the week off after sharing results the week before by beating No. 6 Long Beach State and falling to No. 3 USC. The Cardinal handed the Bears their only loss of the season when they clinched a 12-11 win in the semifinals of the MPSF Invitational in September. Cal already won the regular-season conference championship and will be #1 in next week’s MPSF tournament.

BEAR NEED

BEARS SWEEP MPSF WEEKLY AWARDS
junior goalkeeper Adrian Weinberg was named MPSF Player of the Week for the second year in a row following his performance in Cal’s 17-4 win over No. 14 San Jose State. He made 15 saves and one assist and anchored a Cal defense that kept SJSU at a season-low with four goals in the contest. Freshman attacker Albert Ponferrada, in turn received the conference’s Newcomer of the Week award, his first career conference award. Ponferrada led the Bears against the Spartans with five points, scoring two goals and adding three assists. This is the third straight week that one of the conference awards has gone to a Cal player Max Casabella was named Player of the Week on October 24.

PAPA BEAR
center Nikolaos Papanikolaou won the Cutino Award for top player in NCAA water polo last season while also taking home the ACWPC National Player of the Year award, and he hasn’t let up this season. Papanikolaou ranks fifth in the MPSF with 46 goals after winning the conference scoring championship with 68 goals last year. The three-time All-American leads the conference with 60 earned disqualifications and is in the top-10 for steals and field blocks.

FINE WINE
goalie Adrian Weinberg was an ACWPC Second Team All-American last season, coming off a summer playing with the US National Team. Appealing for Team USA at both the FINA World Championships and the FINA World League Superfinals, Weinberg is back in Berkeley where he is arguably the nation’s most successful returning goaltender. Weinberg is second in the MPSF with 171 saves.

MORE THAN SUPPORTING CAST
Nikolaos Papanikolaou was national player of the year last season, but the Bears have depth and talent that led them to the NCAA crown in 2021. Along with Papanikolaou and Weinberg, ACWPC First Team All-American Jack Deleywho led the MPSF in points and assists last season is also back at Berkeley. Robert Valerathe 2021 MPSF Newcomer of the Year, also returns alongside fellow ACWPC Second Team All-American Max Casabella. Cal has 10 players who scored at least 10 goals last year.

CAL HOST 2022 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Cal’s Spieker Aquatics Complex will host the 2022 NCAA Championships December 3-4. The Bears last hosted the NCAA Championship in 2016, when they defeated USC in the national championship game in overtime. More details – including ticket information – will be announced at a later date.

EVERIST REACHES BENCHMARK
Cal head coach Kirk Everist reached a milestone last season when he scored his 400th career win in the Bears’ 11-9 win over San Jose State. Now in his 21st season, Everist boasts an overall record of 431-128 (.771). Everist won his third ACWPC National Coach of the Year award last year and his third MPSF Coach of the Year award.

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