LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s water polo team will enter this weekend’s Southern Championships as the No. 2 seed in the 12-team field as it tries to defend its title in Annapolis. The Bison, who finished second in the CWPA Southern Division East Region this year, bring an 11-8 record into the three-day event at Navy’s Lejeune Hall.

Bucknell’s first game is scheduled for 10:20 a.m. Saturday. The Bison will play the winner of Friday’s contest between seventh-seeded Washington & Jefferson and Monmouth College. A victory would advance Bucknell to the semifinals and a 9 p.m. matchup with third-seeded Mercyhurst, sixth-seeded George Washington or 11th-seeded Salem International. Sunday’s championship game is slated for 3:40 p.m.

Bucknell captured its first-ever Southern Championships crown last year in Kinney Natatorium. The Bison defeated George Washington, Washington & Jefferson, nationally ranked Navy and then won the title with a 9-4 victory over Cinderella opponent Mercyhurst, which entered the weekend as the No. 6 seed.

The Bison are 8-4 this year against teams in the Southern Championships. Top-seeded Princeton (No. 13) and Bucknell (No. 19) are the only squads in the Southern Championships field to show up in the latest national rankings.

The top six teams at the Southern Championships receive a bid to the Eastern Championship, which will take place Nov. 22-24 at Brown. Bucknell has advanced to the Eastern Championship each of the last 13 years and made its first title game appearance since 1993 last fall.

Southern Championships Schedule (Annapolis, Md. – Lejeune Hall)
Friday, Nov. 8

Game 1: No. 8 seed Gannon vs. No. 9 seed Notre Dame College, 5 p.m.
Game 2: No. 7 seed Washington & Jefferson vs. No. 10 seed Monmouth College, 6:20 p.m.
Game 3: No. 6 seed George Washington vs. No. 11 seed Salem International, 7:40 p.m.
Game 4: No. 5 seed Navy vs. No. 12 seed Penn State Behrend, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 9
Game 5: No. 1 seed Princeton vs. Winner Game 1, 9 a.m.
Game 6: No. 2 seed Bucknell vs. Winner Game 2, 10:20 a.m.
Game 7: No. 3 seed Mercyhurst vs. Winner Game 3, 11:40 a.m.
Game 8: No. 4 seed Johns Hopkins vs. Winner Game 4, 1 p.m.
Game 9: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 4, 2:20 p.m.
Game 10: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3, 3:40 p.m.
Game 11: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8, 5 p.m.
Game 12: Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7, 6:20 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 8, 7:40 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7, 9 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 10
11th Place: Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10, 9 a.m.
Ninth Place: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 10:20 a.m.
Seventh Place: Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12, 11:40 a.m.
Fifth Place: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 1 p.m.
Third Place: Loser Game 13 vs. Loser Game 14, 2:20 p.m.
First Place: Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 3:40 p.m.