Collins Leads Defensive Charge In WWPA Tourney Win

Luke Collins posted a steal and three field blocks in a defensive win over Air Force in the WWPA quarterfinal round.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Nov. 18, 2011

LA JOLLA, Calif. - Senior Luke Collins tallied a goal, an assist, a steal and three blocks to help 12th-ranked and fourth-seeded UC Davis to a defensively oriented 6-3 win over Air Force in the quarterfinal round of the Western Water Polo Association men's championship, held at UC San Diego's Canyonview Aquatics Center.

The Aggies improve to 21-11.

Collins was one of six UC Davis scorers for the day, while senior goalkeeper Kevin Peat tallied eight saves and a steal. Trevor Allen, Colin Hicks, Chris Richardson, Bernie Rogers and Aaron Salit also had one goal each.

Allen put UC Davis on the board early in the first period and Hicks tacked on a second with 2:45 to boost the Aggies to a 2-0 lead. However, that proved to be the last UC Davis goal for almost 20 minutes of play. The Falcons tied matters on Josh Stedman's goal from five meters out in the second quarter, then took a 3-2 lead in the third.

Richardson hit the 3-3 equalizer on a counterattack lob in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, ending the Aggie scoring drought, then Collins scored the go-ahead on an outside shot at the 6:14 mark. Collins then sent a picturesque pass to Rogers with 5:23 on the clock to extend the lead to two. Salit put the tally at its final state of 6-3 with his goal in the game's last minute.

UC Davis will face the winner of Friday's 6 p.m. matchup between four-time champion Loyola Marymount and eighth-seeded Redlands in Saturday's 1:30 semifinal.

#20 Air Force (9-17) 1 1 1 0 - 3
#12 UC Davis (21-11) 2 0 0 4 - 6

GOALS - AFA: Cruz Smithson 1, Josh Stedman 1, Brad Rajchel 1. UC Davis: Trevor Allen 1, Colin Hicks 1, Chris Richardson 1, Luke Collins 1, Bernie Rogers 1, Aaron Salit 1.

GOALIE SAVES - AFA: Danny Harold 15. UC Davis: Kevin Peat 8.