Bucknell Men's Water Polo Has Sights Set on Eastern Championship this Weekend
Nov. 15, 2012
This year's Eastern Championship will take place at Princeton's DeNunzio Pool. The winner of the three-day tournament will advance to the NCAA Championship, which will take place Dec. 1-2 at USC's McDonald's Swim Stadium.
The winner of Friday's Bucknell (15-13)-Harvard (14-17) matchup will advance to Saturday's 4:30 p.m. semifinal against either Brown or Princeton. Sunday's championship game is slated for 2:30 p.m.
The eight-team Eastern Championship field includes four ranked teams: No. 12 St. Francis (N.Y.), No. 14 Brown, No. 15 Bucknell, No. 17 (tie) Navy, No. 17 (tie) Mercyhurst and No. 20 Princeton. Princeton, Navy and St. Francis have combined to claim every Eastern Championship crown since 2003.
Bucknell enters the weekend on a five-game winning streak and is 11-5 over its last 16 outings. Harvard is 2-12 in its last 14 games after opening the season 12-5. The Bison defeated the Crimson 11-3 in their only regular-season meeting at September's North vs. South Invitational.
Bucknell, this weekend, will be attempting to qualify for the NCAA Championship for the sixth time in program history, and the first since 1985.
Freshman Stefan Aleksic leads the Bison in points this year with 92. He is one of six Bucknell players with more than 30 goals and 40 points this season. Brian Barron (52) and Mike Kimble (52) are tied for the team lead in goals.
Junior Alex Nowlin (115 assists) enters the weekend 12 assists shy of 10th place on the Bison career list, while Jack Else already holds both the single-season (123) and career (228) ejections drawn records by wide margins.
Senior goalie Matt Napleton, a two-year starter, has been on a roll of late. He has 15 double-figure save outings and has had a save percentage of better than .500 in 11 consecutive games. His career-high 302 saves this year place him third in the Bucknell record book, while his 633 career stops rank sixth in program history.
Bucknell, which will be participating in its 13th consecutive Eastern Championship, has finished in the top five at the event eight straight years. The Bison finished fifth in 2011.
Tickets for the Eastern Championship are $25 for a weekend pass and $10 for a daily pass. Live video of every game of the Eastern Championship will be broadcast live on the CWPA website. A tournament subscription is $25, while a per game subscription is $10.
Bucknell's Weekly Awards in 2012
Bucknell vs. Eastern Championship Field
2012 Eastern Championship (DeNunzio Pool - Princeton, N.J.)
Saturday, Nov. 17
Sunday, Nov. 18