No. 9 Aggies finish WWPA slate in Southern California

Nov. 1, 2017

DAVIS, Calif. - The home stretch of the 2017 UC Davis men’s water polo season takes place on the road, starting with a pair of Western Water Polo Association road games at Loyola Marymount (Thursday) and UC San Diego (Saturday). This weekend set wraps up the conference slate for the Aggies, and will solidify the seedings for the WWPA Championship, held in La Jolla in two weeks.


Ninth-ranked UC Davis (17-5, 5-0) won its eighth straight contest in dominating fashion last Saturday, sending off the senior class of Cory Laidig, Spencer Galli and Morgan Olson-Fabbro with a 24-2 win over Fresno Pacific. The victory established a school record for margin of victory, while the 24 goals is the most since September 1993.


The total scoring in that eight-win run has been 137-50, or an average victory of 17-6. Four of the games came against teams ranked in the national top 20.


“I’m hesitant to say that we’re playing our best, but I think our team is in a good way,” said Daniel Leyson, UC Davis’ Child And Meisel Families Director of Men’s Water Polo. “We’ve put a lot of hard work in and we’ve improved over the season. We’re in a good position and we need to stay focused to make sure we’re getting better.”


Leyson is also experienced enough to keep his players’ collective focus on the games in front of them, rather than the records and accolades of the nine preceding weeks. After all, UCSD and LMU are historically the strongest teams in WWPA history, accounting for all but four of the last 27 titles. Furthermore, the Tritons have no other games on the schedule, meaning they can devote their full focus on taking on the Aggies. LMU also has new WWPA member Concordia on its weekend planner, but UC Davis comes first, resulting in more prep time for this matchup.


“This particular trip is challenging, but it’s a great test,” said Leyson. “We need to be able to play well in San Diego if we want to get to the championship game. We need to go down there and, in both cases, expect nothing but the other team’s best peformance.”


LMU (6-16, 2-3) ended a four-game skid with its 10-8 triumph against No. 20 Santa Clara on Saturday. Freshman Alessio Brunochelli and sophomore Austin Clark scored goals in the final minutes to break loose from an 8-8 tie. Sophomore defender Matt Braun scored four goals to add to his team-leading total of 35. 


No. 12 UC SAN DIEGO (9-11, 6-0) took down SCU, 13-9, to remain undefeated in conference play in its Thursday contest. Senior utility and 2016 Division II Player of the Year Arman Momdzhyan scored four goals, bringing his team-high season total to 48. The Tritons have gone 7-7 during the past eight weeks, with all seven losses coming against teams ranked eighth or higher. 


Thursday’s game at Burns Athletic Center begins at 3 p.m. while Saturday’s visit to Canyonview Aquatic Center has a 4 p.m. first sprint. Live stats for both games are available via theFOSH.net, while Saturday’s UC Davis-UCSD will be streamed on a pay-per-view basis at ucsdtritons.tv.


SKIP SHOTS: Junior attacker Marcus Anderson earned HERO Sports D-I Men’s Water Polo HERO of the Week for Week 8, dominating the fan voting by a whopping 95.56 percent... UC Davis has won its last 20 regular-season conference games but this weekend’s opponents are the last WWPA members to top the Aggies: UC San Diego delivered a 6-5 upset in the 2015 WWPA title game, while LMU clipped UC Davis by an 11-9 final in the 2014 conference semifinal... The Aggies’ 24 goals against FPU represent the most since putting up 25 against LMU on Sept. 4, 1993... The oldest player on the current team, junior Ido Goldschmidt, was born in December of that year.


ABOUT UC DAVIS: 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.


DON’T MISS OUT!: Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis fall and winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.
 


 

 

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