Teams: No.16 UC Davis vs. No. 13 Pacific; No. 14 Santa Clara
Records: Aggies, 12-14; Tigers, 12-13; Broncos, 19-10
When: Friday at 3:30 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m.
Where: Chris Kjeldsen Pool – Stockton, Calif.; Schaal Aquatics Center
Who to watch: Saturday marks the last home, as well as regular season, game for three Aggie seniors.
Brendan Sigourney, Jim Breen and Dave Cooper will be honored at Saturday’s senior day against Santa Clara.
“It’s going to be weird never playing another game at Schaal” Cooper said. “We have pretty much lived at this pool for five years. Saturday is going to bring some bizarre feelings.”
Did you know? UC Davis has only two wins this season over higher-ranked teams – Pacific and Santa Clara. The Aggies beat the Tigers, 11-8, at the NorCal Invitational on Sept. 19 and then slipped out a win against Santa Clara by an 8-7 final at the Bronco Invite on Sept. 27
Preview: The Aggies are looking to bounce back after being dominated by both No. 2 California and No. 3 Stanford last week. The Aggies fell 10-2 to the Cardinal on Wednesday but were playing without their two top goal-scorers – Cory Lyle (24) and Colin Hicks (23). Both will be back in the pool this weekend.
What will make Friday’s contest even more interesting is that players from both UC Davis and Pacific play offseason water polo as a club team.
With the conference tournament just one week away, UC Davis’ match with Santa Clara is also very important as it will have implications on the standings in the Western Water Polo Association.
Entering the weekend, the Aggies sit in fourth place at 8-6 in the conference while the Broncos are in third place with a conference record of 3-3.
“This should be a good test in the weekend before conference,” said coach Steve Doten. “I want our guys to use the last two games as a learning experience, to get reps against two darned good programs. Both games are winnable, but we could also lose both games.”
– Sammy Brasch