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    HomeSportsUC Santa Barbara Men's Water Polo Set for LA Doubleheader on Saturday

    UC Santa Barbara Men’s Water Polo Set for LA Doubleheader on Saturday

    The UC Santa Barbara Men’s Water Polo team is on the road again this weekend, heading to Loyola Marymount’s Burns Aquatics Center for a pair of games on Saturday, September 23. The No. 13 Gauchos will take on No. 9(T) San Jose State at 1:30 p.m., then face hosts No. 15(T) Loyola Marymount at 4:30 p.m.

    Admission is free for every game at the Burns Aquatics Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, and both of UC Santa Barbara’s fixtures will have live stats available through ucsbgauchos.com. Only the finale against LMU will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

    UC Santa Barbara comes into this weekend after their toughest stretch of the season so far, taking on three top 10 teams in as many games. In their last three contests, the Gauchos fell, 13-8, on the road at then-No. 4 Pepperdine, 16-8 on the road at No. 3 USC, and then 13-10 at home against then-No. 6 Stanford. Despite the loss to the Cardinal, UC Santa Barbara played some of their best water polo of the season last Sunday and had the scores level at 9 in the third quarter.

    On offense, this Gauchos team runs through the center. Thirteen games in, Dash McFarland has already surpassed his previous career high for goals in a season, denting the twine 40 times, recording seven hat-tricks in the process. He leads The Big West in both goals and points. Elsewhere in the conference rankings, Mason Chambliss is second in assists with a team-high 15. Chambliss is one of five Gauchos with double-digit helpers on the season so far. Adam Gyenis has struck a balance of setting up his teammates and scoring himself, with 17 goals and 12 assists, giving him the second-highest point total on the team.

    San Jose State started their season two weekends ago and have not been in the pool since. The then-No. 16 Spartans made a statement in their first game, upsetting then-No. 4 UC Davis, 8-7, in Davis. Their second win came a day later, a 20-3 romp past UC Merced.

    Junior utility Laszlo Szieben scored a hat-trick to lead San Jose State in their win over the Aggies. In their thumping of the Bobcats, Nikola Nikolic was the top scorer, tallying two goals and three assists.

    The Spartans and Gauchos got together twice last season, including in the first round of the Golden Coast Conference Tournament. UC Santa Barbara won both games, 14-8 and 9-7. San Jose State is now competing in the West Coast Conference, alongside Pepperdine, Pacific, Air Force, California Baptist, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount.

    Two of Loyola Marymount and UC Santa Barbara’s last three opponents have been the same — Pepperdine and Stanford. The Lions fell in both games, 17-6 to the Waves and 19-8 to the Cardinal. Since then, LMU has recorded a win over George Washington, 9-7.

    Freshman attacker Abel Romero Corbalan has a team-high three hat-tricks on the season, including a four-goal performance against Cal State Fullerton. The only other Lion with four goals in a game is Alex Marlow, who did it in LMU’s record-setting 30-10 win over La Verne in their second game of the season.

    Like the Spartans, the Lions are in their first season as members of the WCC. When LMU and UC Santa Barbara met last October, the Gauchos came out on top, 9-6.



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