Stanford men's water polo hosts NorCal Invitational


The nationally No. 4-ranked Stanford men's water polo team will take the No. 3 seed into the 16-team KAP7 NorCal Invitational this weekend at Avery Aquatic Center.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. each day, with the Cardinal (5-0) beginning play on Saturday against Santa Clara at 10:50 a.m.

Stanford is one 16 teams competing in the two-day tournament, which wraps up Sunday with the championship match at 6:15 p.m. Other teams entered include Air Force, Cal, Chapman, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, Princeton, Redlands, San Jose State, Santa Clara, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA and USC.

In all, the field includes the top four teams and 11 of the top 12 programs in this week's Collegiate Water Polo Association poll.

Stanford senior Bret Bonanni enters this weekend's invitational just 39 goals from tying Tony Azevedo's Stanford and MPSF record of 332 from 2001-04.

After concluding his junior season with a conference-leading 96 goals, he opened the 2015 campaign with 27 goals in Stanford's first five contests. The senior recorded a career-best nine goals in the season-opening victory over MIT on Sept. 5. Bonanni is the only Cardinal in history to post multiple 90-goal seasons.

Top-seeded UCLA (5-0) won three games last past week, 18-6 in its home opener over UC San Diego, followed by an 18-3 outcome at Redlands and 16-4 vs. Whittier as part of the Inland Empire Classic.

Second-seeded USC (6-0) easily swept past the Inland Empire Classic this past weekend, 30-4 over Whittier, 28-5 over Chapman, 23-2 vs. La Verne, and 20-5 vs. Claremont.

Fourth-seeded Cal (5-0) will open against San Jose State on Saturday. The Bears toppled UC Davis on Sunday, 16-7.

A total of 13 local players are on the 16 teams competing this weekend.

Princeton has Ryan Hammarskjold (Menlo School), Bret Hinrichs (Sacred Heart Prep) and Michael Swart (SHP), Cal has Nick Bisconti (Menlo), Chapman has Mackey McGibben (SHP), Philippe Marco (SHP) is at Pepperdine, Chris Blank (Menlo-Atherton) plays for Redlands, Scott Reynolds of Menlo Park is on the SJS roster, Mark Garner of Los Altos Hills plays for UC Santa Barbara, Will Conner (SHP) is on UCLA's roster, Gunn grad Ari Wayne is at UC San Diego and Stanford has SHP grads Harrison Enright and Nelson Perla-Ward.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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