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Men's Water Polo Closes Out Non-Conference Play Against Santa Clara

Oct 11, 2012

Gameday Central
Date: Friday, Oct. 12
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Site: Chris Kjeldsen Aquatics Complex 

The No. 6 Pacific men's water polo team wraps up non-conference play this Friday, Oct. 12, taking on No. 17 Santa Clara. The Tigers and Broncos will play under the lights at Kjeldsen Pool, with the opening sprint at 7 p.m. 

Pacific has dominated the all-time series against Santa Clara, owning a 26-2 advantage. The Tigers are currently riding a six-game winning streak against the Broncos and have not fallen to SCU since the 2005 season. The two squads met three times last year as Pacific outscored Santa Clara 38-16. The last match-up saw the Tigers win, 11-5, behind a hat trick from junior Balazs Erdelyi.

The Tigers are coming off of a dominating win over rival UC Davis last Friday. Pacific welcomed the Aggies to Kjeldsen for the program's first-ever night game, emerging victorious, 16-7, after leading by 12 at the end of the third quarter. Erdelyi and sophomore Alex Obert scored five goals apiece for the Tigers. Junior Kevin Oliveira tallied his first career hat trick while freshman Aleksandar Petrovic added a pair of scores. Junior goalkeeper Alex Malkis started the game between the pipes, blocking 12 shots through three quarters of work. Sophomore Chris Hughes replaced him for the final eight minutes, saving a pair of shots.

Malkis has had a stellar start to his third year at Pacific, blocking 138 shots through 10.75 games. His 12.84 saves-per-game average leads the MPSF and his 138 blocks ranks second despite playing the fifth-most games. He had a career weekend at the SoCal Tournament at UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 29-30, blocking 70 shots in the Tigers' four games. He went for a then-career high 18 saves in Pacific's overtime upset win over then-No. 4 California before besting that mark with 22 blocks against Stanford in the tournament's fifth-place game. Through 62 career games, Malkis has tallied a remarkable 590 saves, ranking second all-time in school history.

Offensively, Erdelyi and Obert have become one of the most dominant duos in the MPSF early in the season, combining to score more than half of the Tigers' goals. Erdelyi leads the conference with 3.46 goals per game and is one of just four players with 45 goals. Obert has racked up 31 goals on the year and is averaging 2.38 goals per game, good for ninth in the league. Erdelyi has scored at least two goals in 11 of Pacific's 13 matches while Obert has nine multi-goal games on the year. Erdelyi scored a career-high six goals against UC Irvine at the NorCal Tourament before tying that mark against Claremont-M-S at the Aggie Shootout. Obert went for a career-best five scores in the Tigers' upset win over California at the SoCal Tournament, then equaled that mark last weekend against UC Davis.

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