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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Aggies go six for six

It is a good time to be part of the ninth-ranked UC Davis men’s water polo program.

The Aggies won all six of their games at the Aggie Shootout this weekend, extending their streak to nine straight wins. The Aggies have also won 14 of their last 15 games and are now 14-3 on the year – 7-0 in Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) play.

The Aggies opened their weekend on Friday with a 9-6 win over No. 15 Cal Baptist. Senior goalkeeper Kevin Peat tallied 15 saves in the match, and seven different Aggies found the score sheet. The first contest proved to be the closest scoreline UC Davis would face all weekend.

The Aggies dismissed league opponent Chapman 13-5 Saturday morning before defeating WWPA squad Redlands that afternoon.

Sunday yielded more of the same, as UC Davis obliterated its three opponents by a combined score of 52-16. Two of the wins on the event’s final day came against conference foes Occidental and La Verne.

Senior Aaron Salit led all scorers over the shootout, tallying 15 goals. His best performance came in the weekend’s final game, when he found the net five times against Fresno Pacific.

Peat tallied 52 saves over the six-game swing.

However, the weekend wasn’t just about the star performers for the Aggies – it was also about finding out which players they could count on going forward.

“I don’t want our guys to get used to playing with a specific group of other guys,” said coach Steve Doten. “Everybody has to learn what their teammates’ tendencies are in a game situation. It also gives me a chance to evaluate my players.”

The Aggies were able to get a variety of players on the score sheet over the weekend.

Sixteen different players found the net over the six-game swing, with 14 of them scoring more than once.

“We want to be a dynamic water polo team,” Doten said. “We don’t want to be a one-trick pony, so it’s great to see that a lot of guys were able to contribute on the scoring end of things.”

As happy as Doten was with the offensive performance, he was even happier with his team’s defense.

“We had a lot of people contributing on the defensive end,” he said. “It was great that we were able to keep the scores down.”

The Aggies will return to the pool this weekend when they compete in the SoCal Invitational in Long Beach. The tournament could present UC Davis with a chance to move up in the rankings, as it opens the event against No. 7 UC Irvine on Saturday.

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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