Bucknell Men's Water Polo to Play Four Nationally Ranked Opponents This Weekend at Santa Clara Rodeo
Oct. 18, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell men's water polo team will make its annual trip out West this weekend for the Santa Clara Rodeo. The Bison will face No. 19 Santa Clara, California-Baptist, No. 13 Air Force, No. 4 Stanford, and No. 16 UC-Davis. This will be the last weekend of the Bison's regular season, after just climbing into the national rankings for the first time this year at No. 17 this week.
Last weekend the Bison hosted four league foes and posted an impressive 3-1 record, bringing Bucknell to 5-2 in its last seven games. The Bison defeated No. 16 Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington with the help of Brian Barron's 17 goals throughout the weekend. Bucknell will try to build on last weekend's success as it heads to California for the last weekend of the regular season.
Bucknell Men's Water Polo Notebook (9-10, 3-5 CWPA)
Bucknell is currently 9-10 this season with an impressive 5-2 record in the last seven games. Santa Clara is 7-11, Cal-Baptist is 17-11, Air Force is 8-6, Stanford is 8-3, and UC Davis is 11-10 so far in their seasons.
Bucknell finished the regular season in fourth place in the CWPA Southern Division East Region standings. The Bison have clinched the No. 4 position due to a +2 goal differential in games against George Washington this season (GW 15, Bucknell 12; Bucknell 13, GW 8). The Colonials still have two games remaining on their league schedule.
Bison senior co-captains Brian Barron and Matt Napleton both earned weekly awards from the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) this week. Barron was named the Southern Devision Player of the Week, and Napleton received Defensive Player of the Week honors for the third time this season and eighth time in his career. Barron also received Bison Athlete of the Week on Monday after recently achieving 200 career points.
Bucknell was nationally ranked for the first time this year at No. 17. The last time the Bison were ranked as high as No. 17 was the week of Oct. 26, 2011. Bucknell was last nationally ranked Nov. 2, 2011 at No. 19.
Bucknell is looking to make a comeback at the Santa Clara Rodeo this weekend. In 2011, the Bison lost all four games of the weekend against Stanford, UC Davis, Santa Clara, and Pepperdine.
Jack Else enters the weekend with a team-high 82 ejections drawn this season. That figure beats Else's 2011 record of 78 ejections drawn in a single-season, marking a new program record and career-high for the junior.
Bucknell's offense has been balanced this year as the team's top three scorers have been Else (38 goals), Mike Kimble (35) and Stefan Aleksic (32). Aleksic leads the team in points with 62 thanks to his 30 assists on the season.
Alex Nowlin recently moved past the century mark for career assists. The junior now has 109 assists in his career and is just 18 shy of 10th-place Garrin Kapecki on the program's all-time list. Nowlin has posted 11 multi-assist outings this season.
Freshman Stefan Aleksic has tallied at least one point in all 19 games this season. He is the only Bison to accomplish that feat.
Napleton leads the Bison with 195 saves this year. He has registered 11 double-figure save performances, including a career-high 21 in a win over Harvard.
Bucknell has played nine ranked opponents this year. That number will increase to 13 following this weekend. The Bison's last victory over a ranked opponent was this past weekend against No. 16 Princeton.
Bucknell's Weekly Awards in 2012
Bucknell vs. Weekend Opponents