The No. 4 Cal men’s water polo team, which finished the 2000 season 17-8 (5-3 in MPSF) and placed second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament last weekend in Los Alamitos, CA, did not receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship.
The NCAA Men’s Water Polo Committee selected No. 2 ranked USC (22-4) as the at-large representative despite the Trojans placing fifth at the MPSF Tournament. The Bears reached the championship of the MPSF Tournament by defeating Long Beach State, 10-6, and upsetting No. 1 ranked UC Irvine, 9-7 in overtime, before falling to No. 3 ranked UCLA, 6-5, in the MPSF championship.
During the regular season, Cal split its two matches against USC, defeating the then No. 1 ranked Trojans, 9-8 in overtime, Oct. 1 at home, and then losing to USC, 7-5, Oct. 28 in Los Angeles.
The Bears also recently picked up an additional win when UCLA used an ineligible player in a Sept. 17 match at the Southern California Tournament.
In more positive news for the Bears, senior driver Eldad Hazor and senior two-meter man Jerry Smith were named to the MPSF Championship All-Tournament team. Hazor finished the season with a team-high 47 goals, including six goals in the MPSF Tournament. Hazor finished with 121 goals in his Cal career and Smith finished with 135 goals.
Smith was second on the team in scoring with 44 goals and had five goals in the MPSF Tournament.