While this may be one of the more lopsided Big Splash on paper, don’t be shocked if No.7 Cal Bears (11-8) can win their Big Splash since 2016 at No.2 Stanford Cardinal (15-2).
Golden Bears have had some tough matches all year long in a rebuilding effort after the graduations in the past two years of two USA Water Polo team members in Luca Cupido and Johnny Hooper. Yet, the Bears nearly upset UCLA in Westwood last Saturday before losing 10-9. Bears bounced back with a 11-10 OT win at Long Beach State.
Although the Bears likely need to win the MPSF tournament to make the NCAA postseason this year, a win at Stanford today will be a huge confidence boost. Bears would also love to end the Stanford current winning streak over the Bears at just 2 and bring home the Steve Heaston trophy.
Stanford has been ranked No.1 in the country for the most part before losing to USC (then ranked only 7th in the country, it’s been a weird year in collegiate men’s water polo this season) last weekend.
After a quick trip to Stanford, Bears will host UC Irvine on Sunday. Cal will also host the MPSF tournament this year, so don’t rule out a late surge for a return to the NCAA postseason.