Slugfest Tourney Provides More WWPA Competition

Sept. 18, 2007

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at UC Santa Cruz Slugfest
Sept. 22 - vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Noon
Sept. 22 - vs. Whittier, 4:00 p.m.
Sept. 23 - vs. Redlands, 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 23 - vs. La Verne, 1:20 p.m.

Finished 9th at Northern California Open
Sept. 15 - vs. Pepperdine (L, 5-13)
Sept. 15 - vs. Santa Clara (W, 8-6)
Sept. 16 - vs. Loyola Marymount (W, 7-5)
Sept. 16 - vs. UC San Diego (W, 13-7)

LAST WEEK: UC Davis lost its home opener to 7th-ranked UC Santa Barbara then turned around to a 3-1 record and 9th-place finish at the tough Northern California Open tournament... The Aggies opened with a loss to No. 6 Pepperdine but won three straight against the top half of the Western Water Polo Association... Most notably, the Aggies earned second wins against UC San Diego and Loyola Marymount, both of which were ranked higher in the WWPA preseason poll... UC Davis now sports a 5-0 record against conference teams.

Senior Nick Arrigo, who scored four goals in the UCSB loss, led the team with 10 goals during the NorCal tourney... He had four vs. SCU plus hat tricks against LMU and UCSD... Junior Paul Wilson had his first career hat trick against the Tritons... Junior Adam Bennett performed his third hat trick of the year vs. UCSD... He now ranks 2nd on the team with 17 goals, one behind Arrigo... Senior GK Mike McGee was particularly effective in the Aggies' 5-man defense, according to head coach Steve Doten... He finished with 49 saves in the tourney, including 15 vs. UCSD.



UP NEXT: The Aggies take on four more members of the WWPA at the UC Santa Cruz Slugfest tournament: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Whittier, Redlands and La Verne... Redlands is the lone ranked team of the group, moving into 18th in the September 12 poll... Thus far, every UC Davis opponent has at least received votes in the national poll, and six have been in the top 10 at the time of the matchup... CMS is No. 4 on the Division III rankings, La Verne is 10th and Whittier is receiving votes... All four Aggie opponents compete in the D-III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) in addition to their WWPA affiliation.

Redlands holds a 3-5 record entering the tournament, with 12-10 a win over UC San Diego at its own Inland Empire Classic... The Bulldogs, seven-time SCIAC champions, went 1-2 in tournament action at Cal Lutheran last weekend, losing a pair of one-goal games to No. 19 Cal Baptist and Mercyhurst...

CMS went 2-2 at the Inland Empire tourney then took a week off to scrimmage against its alumni on Sept. 15... Stag junior GK Alexandre "Xande" Wright captured his second first-team All-SCIAC nod in 2007...

Whittier is 3-5 in 2007, coming off wins against Cal State Fullerton (club) and Chapman... Senior Matt Rogers scored four goals with an assist against the Titans, while junior Chris Villanueva tallied five goals in the win over the Panthers... La Verne has a 1-5 record, not counting wins over two-year programs... Leopard seniors Seth Shelton and Andrew McPartland combined for 96 goals in 2006.

"I thought we played better as the weekend went on. The score didn't show it, but we outplayed Santa Clara. Scoring our most goals against San Diego is good in terms of conditioning and the team's improvement. We played five games over the weekend and still had enough gas in the tank for the fifth game. That's huge for our confidence."

"I think we're starting to erase some of our question marks. Is Paul Wilson going to help us this year? Can we get the freshmen in there? Cory Lyle? Aaron Salit? Those were question marks for us. Now those guys are contributing consistently. It was good to get them some minutes."

"The one bright spot in the LMU was that we had a very definite plan for our five-man game and we executed it. I think it gives the team confidence about the plan and the schemes. It started to carry over into our front-court defense. The goal is to utilize Mike McGee. We wanted to make them take a contested shot from a spot we wanted. He's good enough as it is. If we can channel a shot from a certain spot, it can make it pretty frustrating."

"Our schedule this weekend was by design. Last year, we scheduled so hard, it made it tough every weekend. This weekend is good because they're conference games and they're important. Redlands is a darn good water polo team. Tom Whittemore does a great job. But it's nice not having to face the No. 5 or No. 2 team in the nation. That's pretty daunting."

"I'd like us to play the way Cal plays us. They run their schemes. The execute and they want to be darn near perfect. The scores get big and they hold our offense down. We need a weekend where we can treat it like it's a Pepperdine or a Santa Barbara, and really make our schemes work. We want to get the young guys some minutes, but I really want to say with what we're doing and build on it. It's an important weekend. We have to play smart and not take anything for granted."