The UC Davis swimming and diving team was in the news again this week, as it picked up three of the Big West Conference’s six major awards. Juniors Heidi Kucera and Scott Weltz were named women’s and men’s athlete of the year, respectively, while Pete Motekaitis walked away as men’s coach of the year.
While the individual honors are nice, they don’t make up for the team title that was taken away from the Aggies.
The UC Davis men fell to defending champ UC Santa Barbara by 15 points at the Big West Championships in Long Beach last weekend. The 15-point margin of victory is nothing when you consider the Gauchos took the title with 849.5 points.
As former Aggies swimmer Matt Crawford wrote in The Aggie on Thursday, UC Davis‘ first medley relay was disqualified due to an officiating error. This barring cost the Aggies 32 points, giving UCSB the win by the end of the championship.
Weltz was disqualified in the medley for allegedly leaving the take-off pads early.
The pads are monitored with technology developed by Colorado Time Systems with the intent of overriding human error. They registered Weltz with a legal release time, but a pair of judges overruled the technology, determining he left early.
This is ridiculous. You’re telling me a pair of officials can see better than a computer can process take-off times? Come on. We’re talking about roughly one-tenth of a second here. There’s no way the minds of these judges analyzed Weltz’s release faster than a piece of technology that was literally created to process such data.
The Aggies should feel good about their performance. They did their job. The computers did, too. Unfortunately, with a league title on the line, it appears that the judges couldn’t do the same.
UC Davis‘ women’s water polo team hasn’t played a home game since it closed out the 2008 regular season with a 14-5 win over Pacific on Apr. 18.
A lot has changed since then.
The Aggies finished out last season by winning a Western Water Polo Association title, advancing to the NCAA Championship en route to placing fourth in the country. They lost eight seniors from that squad, which accounted for more than half of the team’s scoring.
One thing, however, hasn’t changed: The UC Davis women’s water polo team is still really, really good.
Despite the loss of some of its top performers from last year’s club, the youthful Aggies have already been ranked as high as No. 7 in the country.
UC Davis will get its first chance to see its new-look women’s water polo team this weekend as it plays host to the Aggie Shootout.
After opening their season with 16 road games, the Aggies will play 13 of their final 15 regular season contests at the Schaal Aquatics Center.
This will be UC Davis‘ team to watch come spring quarter. Put preparing for finals on the backburner and take a sneak peak. No. 11 UC Davis will face Sonoma State (10:30 a.m.) and No. 17 Cal State Bakersfield (6 p.m.) on Saturday before closing out the weekend against No. 1 Stanford (noon) and Santa Clara (4:30 p.m.) on Sunday.
Off to Anaheim
With a 53-50 win at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday night, the UC Davis women’s basketball team clinched the No. 5 seed in the Big West Conference Tournament. The tournament begins Wednesday at the Anaheim Convention Center.
While the No. 5 seed isn’t as flashy as last year’s No. 2 ranking, its value shouldn’t be overlooked.
The conference’s top four teams receive byes, meaning UC Davis will face the last team to qualify for the tournament, which will be either Cal State Northridge or UC Irvine.
The Aggies are a combined 4-0 against the Matadors and Anteaters this season, winning each game by an average of 16 points. Playoff games certainly aren’t won on paper, but UC Davis has to like its first-round chances to say the least.
For a breakdown of the UC Davis men’s basketball team’s Big West Tournament outlook, see Monday’s Aggie.
Have a question you’d like answered in next week’s All AG-Cess? ADAM LOBERSTEIN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.