No. 8t UC Davis grounds Sunbirds in WWPA first round

Nov. 17, 2017

Redshirt freshman Jack Stafford scored four goals while senior center Morgan Olson-Fabbro added another three to lead top-seeded UC Davis to a 22-7 victory in the first round of the Western Water Polo Associaion championship tournament at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatic Center Friday.

The Aggies, ranked in a tie for eighth nationally, improves to 20-6 for the year. This also marks the first time in program history that UC Davis has enjoyed back-to-back 20-win seasons. The Sunbirds dip to 6-18 overall. 

Stafford and Olson-Fabbro led 13 total UC Davis scorers. Junior Ido Goldschmidt, sophomore Eric Martel, sophomore Max Somple and redshirt freshman Keenan Anderson each added two goals, while Brock Gordon, Riley Venne, Kyle Reilly, Spencer Galli, Colter Knight, Joseph Gomez and Holden Tamblyn chipped in one apiece. Junior R.J. Quigley and freshman Jonah Addington split goalkeeping chores for the game, each finishing with five saves and two steals in their respective halves.

For FPU, freshman two-meter Uros Pelemis shot 3-for-5 while junior hole setter Kyle Eoff planted two scores. Goalkeeper Josh Ramage collected 11 saves.

"I think there were a lot of first-game jitters and nerves, and that's to be expected," said Daniel Leyson, UC Davis' Child & Meisel Families Director of Men's Water Polo. "Quite frankly, I think we gave up too many goals. Offensively, we have a lot of guys who can score goals, so that aspect was taken care of, but we gave up more goals than we wanted to."

The Aggies never trailed in the contest, although back-to-back Pelemis goals equalized at 2-2 with 2:03 left in the first. However, Martel scored after the next restart to initiate a run of eight unanswered into the third frame. UC Davis led 4-2 after the first, 9-2 at halftime, then 11-2 midway through that third quarter. Olson-Fabbro scored three goals in the span of five minutes during that stretch.

Stafford, who scored his first goal on a power play at the 3:26 mark in the first, converted another 6-on-5 chance with 3:04 to go in the third, then completed his hat trick at the 1:39 mark. He netted his fourth and final goal with 3:35 left in the fourth as part of an eight-goal stanza for UC Davis.

The Aggies, the defending WWPA champions, return to action in Saturday's 4 p.m. semifinal. The winner of the WWPA tournament earns the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship in December.

Fresno Pacific (6-18) 2 0 2 3 - 7
No. 8t UC Davis (20-6) 4 5 5 8 - 22

GOALS - FPU: Uros Pelemis 3, Kyle Eoff 2, Nick Stegall 1, Floyd Sibenaler 1. UC DAVIS: Jack Stafford 4, Morgan Olson-Fabbro 3, Eric Martel 2, Ido Goldschmidt 2, Max Somple 2, Keenan Anderson 2, Spencer Galli 1, Colter Knight 1, Kyle Reilly 1, Brock Gordon 1, Holden Tamblyn 1, Joseph Gomez 1, Riley Venne 1. 

GOALIE SAVES - FPU: Josh Ramage 11 (32:00). UC DAVIS: R.J. Quigley 5 (16:00), Jonah Addington 5 (16:00).

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation’s best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at