UCSB-Stanford features several former prep polo stars

The local water polo community will be well represented Sunday when UCSB plays host to Stanford in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game at noon at Campus Pool.

Stanford has three former Santa Barbara area prep standouts on its roster: Sage Wright from Dos Pueblos and Ian Gamble and Hunter Ploch from Santa Barbara High.

Wright, a senior driver, is a two-time All-American for the No. 4-ranked Cardinal. Ploch, a redshirt freshman, is the backup goalie, and Gamble, also a redshirt freshman, is a reserve driver.

As a prep player, Wright led DP to consecutive CIF Division 4 titles in 2004 and 2005. In club water polo, he was a key member of the Santa Barbara Aquatics Club team that won the 18-under Junior Olympics National Championship in 2006.

Gamble and Ploch were members of Santa Barbara High’s CIF Division 2 championship team in 2006 and garnered All-CIF and All-Channel League honors.
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Conner Cleary, a 2010 DP graduate, is also at Stanford, where he’s redshirting this season.

Russell Russo LeVasseur, a teammate of Wright’s at SBAC and a member of Dos Pueblos’ CIF championship teams, is a senior backup goalie for the Gauchos. Brendan Kerwin-McElroy from SBHS is a redshirt freshman on the squad.

Former DP star Brian Shoemaker, is a key member for the sixth-ranked Gauchos. He scored three goals in a 12-10 win over Stanford at the SoCal Invitational.

This will be the third meeting between Stanford and UCSB. The Cardinal won the first game, 7-6, at the Nor Cal Invitational and the Gauchos got revenge at the SoCal Invitational.

This is the MPSF opener for the Gauchos.