No. 3 Pacific Men's Water Polo Visits No. 11 UC Davis Friday
The Pacific men's water polo team, ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 20, heads to UC Davis for a Friday night contest against the No. 11 Aggies. The Tigers and Aggies face off at Schaal Aquatics Center at 6 p.m.
"This weekend at Davis is going to be another tough test," head coach James Graham said. "They're a rival, it's always a good game. It's an exciting place to play. It should be a high-octane game. We know each other pretty well. I know our guys will be up for it, and I know their guys will be too. "
Pacific (13-2) held steady at No. 3 in the polls after placing third at the SoCal Tournament in Irvine.
The Tigers swarmed No. 14 Santa Clara, 14-4 in the first round and took out No. 6 UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals, 10-8. In the semifinals, Pacific was topped by No. 2 USC, 10-6, before the Tigers responded with an 11-10 win over No. 4 Stanford in the third-place game.
Goalkeeper Alex Malkis made 46 saves during the SoCal Tournament, while playing 15 quarters in the cage. Offensively, senior Goran Tomasevic and junior Alex Obert paced Pacific with seven goals each, while seniors Balazs Erdelyi and Kevin Oliveira added six and five goals respectively.
"Coming off a third place finish at SoCal, there's a lot of things to feel good about. We're still trying to work and push forward, because we still have things we need to be better with by the end of the season," Graham continued. "We need to show that we can come out and be consistent every single weekend."
On the year, Erdelyi leads Pacific with 45 goals for three per game, while Tomasevic has chipped in 41 in 14 games (2.93). Obert (27 goals, 1.80 per game), Oliveira (22, 1.47) and sophomore Aleksandar Petrovic (14, 1.00) give Pacific five players averaging over a goal per contest.
As a team, the Tigers are out-scoring opponents 222-111, an average of 14.8 to 7.4 per game.
UC Davis (7-8) finished 11th at the SoCal Tournament, falling 18-7 to No. 4 Stanford in the first round. The Aggies bounced back with a win over No. 13 UC San Diego, 12-10, before dropping their third game to No. 8 Pepperdine, 10-8. The Aggies won the 11th place game, 9-8, over No. 16 St. Francis Brooklyn.
The Aggies are led by Chris Richardson with 29 goals (1.93 per game), Bernie Rogers (25 goals, 1.67 per game) and Trevor Allen (23 goals, 1.53 per game). As a team, UC Davis has been outscored 172-142, an average of 9.5 to 11.5.
In goal, Philip Bates (267 minutes played) and Zach Tudhope (230 minutes) have split time for the Aggies, with Bates averaging 11.5 saves per game and a 10.8 goals against average. Tudhope has posted 10.4 saves per game and an 11.4 goals against average.