No.5 California Golden Bears (15-6, 3-3 in the MPSF) vs. No. 9 UC Irvine Anteaters (12-11, 0-6 in MPSF)
When: 11 a.m. PT
Where: Spieker Aquatics Complex
TV: Pac-12 Networks
One more tuneup match for the Bears before the Big Splash next weekend (right before the Big Game) and the MPSF tournament following that. The Bears will celebrate their seniors this morning ahead of this conference match against UC Irvine. So far this year, Cal has not have had much trouble against lower ranked opponents although the last home match against Santa Clara remained close until the second half.
Here is the post match interview with one of the seniors, Hunter Gettelfinger, after that match:
The most decorate senior amongst this group is Collin Smith.
The Bears' final senior to honor will be 2012 first-team All-American and 2013 team captain Collin Smith from Carlsbad, Calif. One of the program's most prolific scorers and top all-around players, Smith has garnered 127 career goals with 86 assists, 86 steals, 29 ejections earned and 28 field blocks. He has been a standout every since his freshman year, playing in the 2010 NCAA title match, and earning honorable mention All-America honors as a sophomore in 2011.
There was a feature on Smith in the Cal-Ohio State football game program. He is also the boyfriend of Calympian Caitlyn Leverenz.
Here is coach Everist's description of Smith as a player.
"Collin is a dynamic player...his quickness and speed is really unmatched in NCAA water polo," said Everist. "He is not the biggest player, but he makes up for it with his explosiveness. He is a lot like former Cal star football wide receiver DeSean Jackson, if you can catch him he is not hard to bring down, but not too many people can catch Collin in the water."
Here is Smith talking about fitting his coursework (majoring in integrated biology) with water polo.
"Competing in the classroom at Cal is just like competing in the pool. I learn something new about myself every semester. My major has absolutely challenged me to manage my time. I have learned how to handle things when they haven't necessarily gone my way. The goal is to make all the pieces fit together in four years."
Here's to the Cal Seniors and may they all get a moment each to shine in today's match.