Teams: No. 12 UC Davis at No. 13 UC San Diego; No. 5 Loyola Marymount
Records: Aggies, 9-4 (8-2); Tritons, 5-7 (2-3); Lions, 9-2 (5-0)
Where: Coggan Family Aquatic Center, San Diego; Burns Recreation and Aquatic Center, Los Angeles
When: Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: After missing the first two weeks due to injury, the Aggies‘ best perimeter defender returned last weekend at the Bronco Invite and made his presence known.
Sophomore Ryan Hagens scored two goals, drew two ejections and most importantly came away with a team-high eight steals in four games. His ability to shut down the opponent’s best perimeter shooters will be very important this weekend against two sound squads.
Did you know: Loyola Marymount has won 22 straight Western Water Polo Association games dating back to October 2007. The Aggies faced UC San Diego just two weeks ago, getting edged out by a 10-7 score at the NorCal Invite.
Preview: After winning four straight games last weekend, all against WWPA foes, the Aggies are hoping to continue their hot streak down south when they take on two of their fiercest conference opponents.
UC Davis is looking to continue bringing the same intensity this weekend after an impressive upset of No. 11 Santa Clara last Sunday.
“The Santa Clara win was a total team effort,” said coach Steve Doten. “The guys‘ effort and intensity were not there two weeks ago.“
UC Davis was attacking from all angles last weekend as three different Aggies accounted for hat tricks over the four game stretch.
The Aggie offense spread the wealth in the big win over Santa Clara as seven different Aggies got into the scoring mix in an 8-7 win.
With no true hole set in the water, the Aggies are looking to their fast counterattack and sound defense to keep them afloat this weekend against two solid teams from southern California.
“UC San Diego and LMU swim very well,” Doten said. “If we don’t give up counterattacks, don’t get kicked out on counterattacks and most importantly don’t make boneheaded turnovers that lead to easy goals we can play with those teams.“
– Sammy Brasch