REDLANDS, Calif. - Senior utility Matt Vowell scored a hat trick in each game as 12th-ranked UC Davis swept the first day of action at the Inland Empire Classic men's water polo tournament at Thompson Aquatic Center. The Aggies opened with a 16-10 win over Whittier in their morning match, then claimed a 14-8 victory over tournament co-host Redlands to conclude the day.
UC Davis moves to 2-1 overall and 2-0 against Western Water Polo Association teams.
Vowell, sophomore utility Chris Richardson and sophomore center Teddy Nicholson each had three goals in the nightcap win over the Bulldogs. Sophomore Trevor Allen added two goals, both in the first quarter. Sophomore Greg Nelson assisted Nicholson and Matt Manchenton on goals while adding a field block and a steal in a productive fourth quarter.
Allen's two goals gave UC Davis a 4-1 lead through the first quarter. Redlands scored on a five-meter penalty shot and a natural goal to reduce the deficit to a single goal with 6:44 left, but Allen then drew a five-meter foul and Richardon netted the shot to protect the Aggie lead. Anders MacCarthy scored with three minutes remaining to put UC Davis back up 6-3. Nicholson drew a kickout and scored his own 6-on-5 chance, then drew another five-meter to put Vowell to the line with less than a minute remaining in the half. The Jesuit High alum hit the shot, sending the Aggies to an 8-5 halftime lead.
Neither team generated much offense in the third quarter until Redlands hit one of its four 6-on-5 goals with 2:05 left, bringing the tally to 8-6. However, UC Davis scored the next six goals of the game. Vowell completed his hat trick from set with seconds left in the third. Nicholson scored back-to-back from two meters early in the fourth to increase the Aggie edge to 11-6. Manchenton drew an exclusion than converted Nelsen's pass for the goal at the 3:30 mark, then Richardson scored from one to put UC Davis up by 13-6. Each team traded extra-man goals and the Bulldogs hit a lob to put the final tally at 14-8 in the Aggies' favor.
Junior Tony Dito earned his first career start at goalkeeper. He faced few shots on frame but tallied four saves in 32 minutes of work.
In Saturday's early game, UC Davis exploded to an 11-goal second half to pull away from Whittier College in the 16-10 victory. Vowell scored three goals while four other Aggies put up two goals each. Redshirt freshman Robert Clemons manned the cage to four saves in the first half, then Dito stopped seven Poet shots in his second-half stint.
Although Vowell drew first blood with his game-opening goal from set, Whittier took a 2-1 lead just three minutes into the contest. Vowell assisted Richardson for a 6-on-5 goal with 21 seconds left to head into the second quarter in a 2-2 tie. Both Vowell and Richardson netted additional goals during the second quarter to lift the Aggies to a 5-4 halftime lead.
Whittier tied the game at 5-5 early in the third period until Austin Beckwith's first collegiate goal sparked a 5-1 run. Vowell completed his hat trick during that stretch while Nelsen drew a five-meter foul, allowing Bernie Rogers to hit the ensuing penalty shot.
The Aggies surrendered a goal from two meters in the fourth to see their lead slip to 10-7, but MacCarthy scored back-to-back in a 3-0 UC Davis run to extend the margin to 13-7. Later in the frame, junior attacker and West Valley College transfer Julian Personius scored his first goals as an Aggie, completing consecutive counterattacks in the final 73 seconds of play.
Richardson, Personius, MacCarthy and Rogers each finished with two goals. Defender Michael Wright provided three steals within a span of less than three minutes in the first half. He also assisted on goals by Nicholson and Kevin Meisel in the second.
UC Davis will complete its Southern California trip with tournament games against Pomona-Pitzer and Occidental on Sunday. Both contests will take place at the La Verne campus at 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., respectively. Pomona-Pitzer and Oxy also are members of the WWPA.
2012 INLAND EMPIRE CLASSIC MEN'S WATER POLO TOURNAMENT
Day 1 Thompson Aquatic Center Redlands University
UC Davis scores only.
|#12 UC Davis (1-1)||2||3||5||6||-||16|
|#12 UC Davis (2-1)||4||4||1||5||-||14|
GOALIE SAVES - UC Davis: Tony Dito 4 (32:00). RU: not available.