Although the Aggies ended the weekend on a sour note, winning two of three against ranked opponents is solid for any squad.
No. 11 UC Davis started off the weekend with two wins over No. 16 Pacific and No. 20 Air Force, but could not finish the weekend sweep, losing a close one to No. 10 Long Beach State in Sunday‘s nightcap.
Friday – No. 11 UC Davis 7, No. 16 Pacific 5
The Aggies ended up on the right side of the first of three two-goal outcomes this weekend, mostly due to the stellar attack of senior southpaw Grant Muenter.
The Tigers beat the Aggies in late September because of their ability to sit on the whole man and prevent UC Davis‘ outside shooters from capitalizing.
Friday was a different story.
Pacific tried the same game plan by dropping off Muenter, but this time the senior captain found the back of the cage more often than not, shooting three for five for the game.
“This was a good win for us,“ Muenter said. “This is a team we should always beat, but they seem to play us tough every time.“
The Tigers‘ offense was held in check thanks to the play of redshirt freshman Kevin Peat, who posted a solid nine saves and forced head coach Steve Doten to keep Peat in the pool all 96 minutes over the weekend.
After an aggressive game, the match ended on a violent note when a Pacific player elbowed Cory Lyle in the mouth with no time remaining.
Saturday – No. 11 UC Davis 12, No. 20 Air Force 10
UC Davis came out slow early Saturday morning in their only Western Water Polo Association match of the weekend.
The Falcons won the first quarter 3-2, but the Aggies came out with four consecutive second-quarter goals and never looked back en route to a 12-10 victory.
UC Davis‘ hole-men dominated, drawing five penalty shots that turned into three goals.
Senior Adam Bennett, junior Jim Breen and sophomore Aaron Salit had two goals apiece for the Aggies.
Sunday – No. 10 Long Beach State 9, UC Davis 7
Another slow start proved too much to come back from in Sunday‘s contest against the 49ers.
Long Beach State‘s counter attack gave the 49ers a 4-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Unfazed by his trip to the emergency room on Friday, Lyle continued putting pressure on UC Davis‘ opponents.
“I just try to bring a burst off the bench to get the team going,“ Lyle said.
Despite the pressure, Long Beach State proved to be too hot for the Aggies, who could not fend off the 49ers‘ consistent counterattack.
Sophomore Walter Eggert netted his first college hat trick on Sunday, scoring each goal on man-up opportunities.
SAMMY BRASCH can be reached at email@example.com.