After a 16-5 loss against UCLA on Saturday, the UCSB men’s water polo team suffered another defeat to Irvine (9-8) on Sunday.
Against UCLA, the Gauchos played an exciting game with four steals and six shot blocks from senior goalkeeper Jon Bonafede. Their efforts, however, were not enough to defeat the top-ranked Bruins.
Sophomore driver Ross Sinclair netted the two goals for Santa Barbara, and one assist to junior utility Chris Gronow. Sophomore two-meter man Matt Dale and senior utility Brian Alexander managed one goal each for the Gauchos.
“We played pretty bad,” Sinclair said. “We didn’t have the intensity that we did in the past.”
Head Coach Joe O’Brien agreed with Sinclair’s assessment.
“We’re disappointed,” O’Brien said. “We know we can play better than we did.”
At one point in the game, the entire Santa Barbara offense was subbed out in hopes of a change of pace for UCSB. Bonafede showed his frustration by coming out to assist his defense in three instances, resulting in goals by UCLA.
“Defensively, we need to step up the intensity and just come out stronger,” Bonafede said.
The Bruins’ top scorers were senior drivers Albert Garcia and Brett Ormsby who scored three goals each for UCLA.
“UCSB is a very good team,” UCLA Coach Adam Kirkorian said. “But we came out strong and shot the ball very well.”
On Sunday, despite a 5-5 tie at the half, the Gauchos could not manage to defeat the #5 Anteaters in Irvine.
“We were doing what we were supposed to be doing,” O’Brien said. “But we’re just not sticking up for each other defensively.”
Sinclair aided the Gauchos’ efforts in the game with one goal and an assist.
“The team’s confidence was not there,” Sinclair said. “A lot of people are still pretty upset about the other games we have lost.”
Next week, Santa Barbara will host Pepperdine in hopes of breaking its four-game losing streak.